Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate – Book Review

Before We Were Yours

This is a fictionalized account of the abuses suffered at the hands of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society (a real place, a real story) by stolen children and their parents.  From the years 1926 to 1950, Georgia Tann ran an operation that stole children from poor families to sell to rich families.  She also was engaged in blackmail and the deaths of approximately 500 children over those years.

In this novel, the story of Rill Foss and her four siblings who were stolen one night and later sold to rich families is told, while at the same time following the story of Avery, one of their descendants who uncovers this history while at home taking care of her senator father.  Avery at first is out to make sure that there will be no leaking of the story and no damage done to her father, or herself, since she is being groomed to replace her father in the senate.   However, as pieces of the story come to light, Avery begins to focus on finding out the truth of her own history.


Some of the children from The Tennessee Children’s Home Society

I really liked this novel, although it was quite hard to read, since the history of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society is true, and the stories are heartbreaking.  I highly recommend this novel.  Well done, Wingate!


Lisa Wingate



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