INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY: Georgia Tann’s Tennessee Children’s Home Society was a notorious Memphis orphanage ultimately deemed responsible for the kidnapping and selling thousands of children in illegal adoptions from the 1930s through 1950.
NEVER NOVELIZED: Though the Children’s Home and Georgia’s life was chronicled in a 60 Minutes episode and two made-for-TV movies during the nineties after adoption records were opened, this is the first novel to tell the story.
AUTHOR HAS DONE EXTENSIVE ORIGINAL RESEARCH INTO THIS SHOCKING CASE: Appalled at the scope of Georgia Tann’s corrupt network, including the probable deaths of several hundred children who simply “disappeared” under her care, the author combed through court records and accounts of bereft birth parents and stolen children to try to recreate in her novel what this experience must have been like for the families involved.
PRAISE: Wingate’s writing has been praised by USA Today (“A gift for crafting a story. Lisa Wingate never disappoints.”), Booklist (“uite simply a master storyteller.”), and others.
RECIPIENT OF NATIONAL CIVIES AWARD: Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Wingate, Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life.
“A [story] of a family lost and found…A poignant, engrossing tale about sibling love and the toll of secrets.”—People
“Before We Were Yours is sure to be one of the most compelling books you pick up this year…. [Lisa] Wingate is a master-storyteller, and you’ll find yourself pulled along as she reveals the wake of terror and heartache that is Georgia Tann’s legacy.”—Parade
“One of the year’s best books…It is almost a cliché to say a book is ‘lovingly written’ but that phrase applies clearly to Lisa Wingate’s latest novel, Before We Were Yours. This story about children taken from their parents through kidnapping or subterfuge and then placed for adoption, for a price, clearly pours out of Wingate’s heart…. It is impossible not to get swept up in this near-perfect novel. It invades your heart from the very first pages and stays there long after the book is finished. Few novelists could strike the balance this story requires but Wingate does it with assurance. There are a lot of books that will catch your eye this summer, some from our best storytellers. Make sure this one is on your radar. It should not be missed.”—The Huffington Post
“[An] affecting new novel.”—The New York Post
“Every now and then a novel comes along that sweeps me off my reading feet. Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate, is such a book…. It’s a great book-club read, one of those books that teaches you something, gives you lots to discuss and even more to think about…. Take note: This may be the best book of the year.”—Shreveport Times
“This story is heartfelt and genuine, especially as Wingate explores the idea of home and family from a youngster’s point of view.”—Historical Novels Review
“Lisa Wingate takes an almost unthinkable chapter in our nation’s history and weaves a tale of enduring power. That Georgia Tann and her Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society could actually exist, unraveling the lives of countless children, stealing their pasts and changing their futures, will give you chills. But the real feat of this stirring novel is how deeply Wingate plunges us into the heart and mind of twelve-year-old river gypsy Rill Foss. Rill’s utterly singular voice will stay with you long after the last page is turned, as will Wingate’s courage to follow her anywhere…. Vivid and affecting.”—Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of Circling the Sun
“A powerful tale of family, of sisters, of secrets kept and secrets shared. I absolutely loved this book. I’m still basking in the afterglow, in shock at the true-crime elements, in awe at the journey of these characters who seem to have immortal souls.”—Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
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