A well-written and compelling story. This is the first book I’ve read by Wingate and I’ll be checking out more of her work.

Tennessee, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live aboard their family’s boat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one night, strangers arrive and take the children away. They are taken to the Tennessee Children’s Home Society and assured that they will soon be returned to their parents. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together. The treatment of Rill and the children was difficult to read. Although I know it has happened and still happens today, it’s hard for me to image that people are so heartless. That people put children in the path of such horror. The heartbreak I felt made this story compelling. Despite the heartbreak, I turned the pages because I needed to know what happened to Rill and her siblings.

South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all. A chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history. I liked Avery. She truly loves her family and I found her curiosity about her grandmother’s past believable. While I figured out where the story was going, that didn’t make me want to put the book aside and move on to something else. I still needed to know the details and those details made me smile and left me happy as I closed the book for the final time.

Historical Fiction is not at the top of my genre list because I find it often gets bogged down in historical facts, but that was not the case with Before We Were Yours. It nicely combined a bit of history with an interesting story. Genre stops mattering for me when you grab me with a great story and this is superb story. Check it out!

I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley.


Rating: 4 stars

Reviewer: Jennifer

Title: Before We Were Yours

Author: Lisa Wingate

Release Date: June 6, 2017

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