51j7EJwr9GL._SL500_Goodreads Blurb “Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shanty-boat. 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….Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career, 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, Before We Were Yours is a riveting, wrenching and ultimately uplifting tale.”

My Review

Wow what a story this was! I remember seeing this book a lot last year, when it was first published and thinking that I’d probably find it be too upsetting to read. Well a year later and an offer on the Audible daily deal and I’d changed my mind and decided to listen to it.

Emily Rankin and Catherine Taber were the perfect narrators for this book. I was instantly transported back to 1930s Memphis as I listened to Rill Foss’ story beginning on the fateful night her mother and Father left her in charge of her siblings on the river. Even though I knew this was a fictionalised account the imagery was so strong throughout Rill’s story I felt like I was hearing a true account. It was a heartbreaking story that made me gasp and hold my breath on numerous occasions, hoping that the best and not the worst would happen to Rill and her young charges.

Avery’s story set in the present day was less dramatic, being mostly about her new life in South Carolina supporting as her Senator father and his private struggles with health issues. It took me a while to warm to her as I found her privileged background quite hard to sympathise with. At times she sounded quite whinny, so I was very pleased that she chilled out as the story progressed. I enjoyed the mystery of the old lady she meets at a retirement home and the connection between her Grandma Judy.

There is a fantastic author’s note at the end of the book explaining the background for the story and of the horrific scandal surrounding the real Tennessee Children’s Home Society scandal.

I definitely recommend this if you enjoy dual time stories based on true accounts.