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Before We Were Yours - Lisa Wingate

Before We Were Yours

By Lisa Wingate

  • Release Date: 2017-06-06
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4.5
From 5,945 Ratings


THE BLOCKBUSTER HIT—Over two million copies sold! A New York TimesUSA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly Bestseller

Look for Lisa Wingate’s powerful new historical novel, The Book of Lost Friends, available now!

“Poignant, engrossing.”—People • “Lisa Wingate takes an almost unthinkable chapter in our nation’s history and weaves a tale of enduring power.”—Paula McLain

Memphis, 1939. 
Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

Publishers Weekly’s #3 Longest-Running Bestseller of 2017  Winner of the Southern Book Prize  If All Arkansas Read the Same Book Selection

This edition includes a new essay by the author about shantyboat life.


  • The best

    By 1657now
    Loved this book. You can’t stop reading it.
  • A must read!

    By CM5050
    Wow. Best book I have read in years. Incredibly moving. An unbelievable story.
  • Loved it

    By Sarah1228484
    I loved this book!
  • Before We Were You

    By Pittsburgh Girl 1966
    Love the book!!! You will also!
  • When We Were Yours

    By Keepsaker
    Poignant, personal tragedy that happened during this time period. The characters love for one another shone brightly through the rough times in which they lived.
  • Incredible story

    By aai12
    I couldn’t put this book down. Definitely shocked by the incredibly heartbreaking true events on which the book is based.
  • Disappointed

    By Decapat
    I like historical fiction but this book falls flat. I found it boring. I was surprised it was so highly rated and and New York Times best seller. it reminds me of a driving miss Daisy and fried green tomatoes but lacking any depth in the characters. It was predictable. It ended exactly the way I thought it would.
  • Before we were yours

    I tried to buy the book, they had it listed for $3.99 but changed the price to $12.99 when I tried to buy it. Sorry, didn’t fall for the upcharge.
  • Love it

    By Ched2016
    This book was amazing and it shocked me also it’s a must read for sure
  • A complete WASTE

    By k!lllllllkdkfkfmvm
    Had to stop torturing myself and gave up reading early in the book. Cannot believe I paid for this! If you’re considering buying this - DON’T.