General Fiction (Adult), Historical Fiction

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Before We Were YoursBefore We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had been hearing about this book everywhere, so what did I do? Put it on hold at the library immediately! Imagine my disappointment when the library responded and said I was number #1,016 on the list waiting to receive 1 of 60 copies. Bummer. It would have taken months to receive my hold which made me very sad. So what was my response? Pull out my wallet and buy the darn thing!

Totally worth the money! What a unique and tragic story, and how incredible that it was based on real events! I consumed this book in a matter of three days (it was my regular workout partner on the exercise bike… thanks accountability buddy!).

With a story line that bounces between present day and the days of The Great Depression set in 1939, it gave me a little bit of a “The Notebook” vibe minus the love story. It also reminded me loosely of To Kill a Mockingbird as a large portion of the book was told through the eyes of a young Southern girl who may not fully understand the world in which she’s living. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Before We Were Yours tells the story of the tragic child trade ring that was active during the 1930’s and 1940’s in Memphis, Tennessee. Without giving too much away, it exposes the orphanages that housed children who were stolen from their homes, snatched from hospitals, or otherwise procured through illegal or unethical means, in an attempt to sell them at a profit. I was flabbergasted that this scandal took place 3 hours down the road from where I live, and yet I’ve never heard of it.

Lisa Wingate’s writing was spectacular and entranced me from the very beginning. So happy to have read it. So happy to have learned something new. So happy to have experienced a text that has made me grateful for the life I have lived so far. This one comes highly recommended, and if you’re #1,016 on the hold list at your library, it’s totally worth the wait. But if you’re so inspired after reading this review that you just have to have it, it’s also totally worth the money!

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