Thursday, February 1, 2018

Before We Were Yours

GIVEAWAY
WINGATE, LISA
BEFORE WE WERE YOURS

In this poignant novel, inspired by a true story, two families generations apart are forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice.

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, Bill 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 fiance, 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.

My Review:

Of note: This book was published by Ballantine Books -- so while not Christian Fiction, it is a clean read with a powerful message

I've been trying to write a review for days but I've been too shell-shocked. What a powerful story! It's heart-hurting and anger-stirring and I think I felt every definable emotion imaginable as I read Before We Were Yours.

I'm grief-stricken over the fact that Rill's story is actually based on the real life stories of thousands of children. Georgia Tann was an unconscionable monster as far as I'm concerned. Treating children like commodities, selling them for her own profit with no thought of  the agony their loving (but poor) families endured as a result. I'm appalled that this went on for a decade, that so many powerful and affluent people turned a blind eye, that anguished parents didn't have an advocate. And the things the children endured in these so called orphanages...my heart is still broken. To say this novel held me enthralled would be an understatement!

Exquisitely written -- I cherished the time I spent delving into Rill and Avery's stories. Lost myself in their lives. Dual timelines -- 1939 (Rill) and present day (Avery). And Lisa Wingate does an incredible job as she switches between poverty-stricken Rill's twelve-year-old point of view and affluent Avery's privileged one. And, oh my, the way their stories mesh together! Major goosebump and chill moments galore. And tears. I got choked up so many times and bawled like a baby at the end. I'm tearing up now just thinking back over this powerful story.

Before We Were Yours is a hard story to read in places. But it's a hopeful one too. A celebration of the tenacity of the human spirit. The ability to overcome, to have the courage to face change and the heart to accept the truth. A stunning must-read that is taking the literary world by storm.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

This giveaway is in ebook format only

If you would like an opportunity to win AN EBOOK copy of Before We Were Yours, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday February 4 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!

43 comments:

  1. I've only read one book by Lisa (The Seakeeprs Daughter) and enjoyed it so much. I've also heard this one was good so I'd definitely add it to my want-to-read list!

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's exceptional, Trixi. Good luck.

      Delete
  2. I've not yet had the pleasure of reading Lisa's books. KAV, thank you for the great review and the chance to win a copy.
    psalm103and138atgmaildotcom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Caryl. Good luck.

      Delete
  3. This story tore me up, so we are in agreement there! I had the hardest time rating it though. As you say, Lisa Wingate's writing is exquisite, but also as you say, I was appalled at some of what she writes, especially what the one strong-willed child endured, I'm devastated just thinking about it. I can see why no Christian Publisher picked this one up (I honestly don't know if any were approached about it, but I doubt it).
    So, if you had to give it a star rating what would you give it? I'm curious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I gave it a five star rating on my online reviews. It's a tough subject matter, but well written and I don't think the author went overboard with the less savory parts. And it's based on absolute truth so I appreciate that she didn't sugar-coat it but she didn't sensationalize it either.

      I think if there had been a faith thread it would have fit in with a Christian publisher. I mean, they don't shy away from writing about war or slavery or violence, right? I hear more and more Christian Fiction authors are seeking publication in the mainstream market and after seeing the stats on this book I can see why. She has nearly 5000 reviews on Amazon!!! In the top ten of most read! And my public library (where I obtained my copy) has over 200 holds for this title. A well-known Christian Fiction author like Tamera Alexander or Colleen Coble might have up to 20 holds at any given time so that just illustrates the difference between Christian Fiction and mass market fiction when it comes to interest and sales. :-(

      Delete
  4. I've heard so much about this book lately! It sounds like a fascinating story with a piece of history I had no idea about. Thank you for sharing your review!

    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hadn't either -- it's a real eyeopener. Good luck, Heidi.

      Delete
  5. I've heard so many good things about this book. Hoping for a win!!!
    kathrynlvossATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This book has crazy good reviews -- a ton of them! Good luck!

      Delete
  6. I’ve heard SO MUCH about this book! Have to read it!

    mindyhoung AT msn DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Her best yet and she is winning all kinds of awards. cheetahthecat198ATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's creating quite the buzz, isn't it? Good luck,Kim.

      Delete
    2. And it's based on real events which makes it even better. Georgia Tann look her up.

      Delete
    3. Yes -- there's a bit of an explanation at the back of the book and a bibliography. I'm going to check my library to see if they have any of them.

      Delete
  8. I have heard a lot about this book . Thanks for the review. I have enjoyed some of her other books. paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have been dying to read this, Kav. Sounds incredible. Please include me in the draw!

    ckbarker at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're included, Cheryl.Good luck!

      Delete
  10. I've read several of Lisa's books so know she is a masterful storyteller. I'd very much like to read Before We Were Yours.
    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She certainly is talented.Good luck, Pam.

      Delete
  11. I must admit I have mixed emotions about reading this book. I actually picked it up in a Christian book store today and then put it back on the shelf. Not sure if I can handle the subject matter although I know it's received good reviews. Thanks for your review, Kav.
    pwestfall7 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's heavy but Lisa Wingate does an incredible job with it. I find it interesting that it's in a Christian bookstore -- it's on Christianbook as well. Not because of the content but because this is a mainstream publisher with a general market readership in mind. I wonder what constitutes Christian fiction? I didn't label it as such. Anyway -- good luck, Pam.

      Delete
  12. I've had this on My wish lists forever LOL or for as long as I have knew about it LOL
    iamabho AT gmail DOT com
    Thank You :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol - that wish list of yours must be a mile long by now. Good luck, Linda.

      Delete
    2. LOL I'll never conquer it EVER LOL
      Thank You

      Delete
  13. We have Lisa's books in the church library. I'm looking forward to reading this book even if I don't win. It sounds great!
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want to see your church library some day!!!! Good luck, Janet.

      Delete
  14. Sooo, I own a paperback of this book and your review is one of the reasons I have yet to read it. I try to limit my gut-wrenching reads to 2-4 books a year. Haha! Seriously, they wreck me and I end up not being very fun to live with for awhile. My husband is easy-going and tries to comfort my irrational state-of-mind, but my kids cannot help but tease me. :-/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kids!They just don't understand! Your husband sounds like a keeper though -- he's definitely developed the coping strategies necessary to live with a bibliophile. lol

      Delete
  15. "Exquisitely written." Great review! I've looked at this book before and wondered how good it was. Becky lelandandbecky [AT] reagan [DOT] com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wonder no more, Becky. lol 80% of reviewers on Amazon (over 4000 reviews) gave it a five star rating. Good luck.

      Delete
  16. I’ve been wanting to read this one so much. Thank you so much for the chance. Blessings
    leliamae54(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Lucy. Good luck.

      Delete
  17. Sounds like a powerful story and the fact that it is based on true events makes it sound even better! Love to read this.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love when fiction educates as well as entertains and this is an important part of history. Good luck, rubynreba.

      Delete
  18. I can’t believe I haven’t read this book yet! But I need to! It will be an emotional read for sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very emotional. Good luck, Nancy.

      Delete
  19. So sad that this actually happened!

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes -- it's mindboggling. Good luck, Patty.

      Delete
  20. Thanks for the giveaway!

    ladysnowangelphotos(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete