Before We Were Yours

Lisa Wingate      Pages: 334     Published: 2017

The book: It’s Memphis, Tennessee in 1939. The five Foss children, who are all under twelve, live on a riverboat with their parents. One stormy night, when their mother is taken ill, the children are left alone. Unbeknownst to the parents, some strangers have nefarious plans for their children.

In present-day South Carolina, a chance encounter leaves the wealthy and successful Avery Aitken with questions about her family’s past.

What happened to the Foss children in 1939? What will Avery discover? Is her family past linked to the Foss children?

You might like it because: Wingate has conjured an amazing story, which sadly was inspired by heartbreaking, true events. She expertly brings the characters to life. It’ll be hard for the reader to forget the Foss children and their story.

What did other people say?
“A [story] of a family lost and found . . . a poignant, engrossing tale about sibling love and the toll of secrets.”   –   People

“One of the year’s best books . . . It is impossible not to get swept up in this near-perfect novel.” – The Huffington Post

Awards & Recognition:
New York Times Best Seller

How quickly will you get into the book? Wingate’s story telling is masterful: three pages in I was hooked.

You might not like it because: The story goes back and forward between two different timeframes: 1939 and the present day. Some readers might find this annoying.
In addition, the present-day elements of the novel are less compelling than the 1939 storyline.

What might you read next?
Continue with an adoption theme and read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Or read a memoir by Jackie Kay, Scotland’s Macher (Poet Laureate), where she recounts her search for her biological parents: Red Dust Road.

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