Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

sisters, book cover

The year is 1936. It’s Tennessee and 12 year old Rill Foss is left in charge of her younger siblings for a few days due to her mother’s medical emergency. An officer comes to the door and tells Rill that he’s going to take her and her siblings to the hospital to see their mother. She has no choice but to abide.

However, they are not taken to the hospital. They are taken to a home with many other children where their names are changed and they’re treated poorly. What unfolds is a terrible story about The Tennessee Children’s Home Society, an orphanage that housed children that were stolen from their homes. These children were then sold for large amounts of money to wealthy parents who had no idea how the children were obtained.

The reader gets another present-day perspective – that of Avery Stafford, a Senator’s daughter who realizes that her family has a dark secret that she must uncover. She is somehow related to the Foss girls and she’s made it her mission to find the truth.

This story is based on a true story, a scandal involving The Tennessee Children’s Home Society, which just makes everything more heart-wrenching. Check this one out, you won’t be sorry.