“No matter how much we may love the melody of a bygone day or imagine the song of a future one, we must dance within the music of today or we will always be out of step, stumbling around in something that doesn’t suit the moment.” ~May Crandall (in Lisa Wingate’s novel Before We Were Yours)
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Ya’ll! I am writing this book review on February’s book chosen by The Books & Broads Book Club: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. I was hesitant about this book based on the story line. It sounded very depressing and I do not like depressing…LOL
The story line is about five siblings who were kidnapped from their river home while their Mom and Dad were at the hospital for their Mom to give birth to their twin siblings. The story follows Rill Foss and her determination to protect her sisters and brother when they are taken to Georgia Tann’s Memphis, Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage. The story toggles from 1939 to Present day while the different stories are played out throughout the book. Present day finds an up-and-coming politico, Avery Stafford, who moves back to Aiken, South Carolina to help care for her father who is fighting Cancer and to get her name out there to take his place in the Senate if he passes from the Cancer. During her time in Aikin, Avery, meets an older lady named May Crandall who sets her in motion to find the long-hidden secret of her family’s history to find out how May Crandall is associate with her grandmother, Judy Safford.
Onto the review, Dear Bloggites. This story is an emotionally draining story in my opinion. It is written in first person (which I hate) and toggles between 1939 Tennessee and present-day South Carolina. Even though I do not like first person, it worked well in this book because of the different players you are following throughout. Lisa Wingate created well developed characters in this book and even though the topic was deep and depressing, you did find moments of humor and lightness to help comfort the reader and give them a break from the heaviness of the subject.
The story became very predictable as I read the book and by the middle, I had already figured out who each person was and how it was going to end. This was sad for me because, while I am reading a depressing topic, I was hoping the author would put a twist in there so the reader was surprised by the ending instead of underwhelmed and left with a feeling of, “Meh, okay.” The book is a work of fiction but is based on real life events that happened in Memphis, Tennessee with Georgia Tann and her kidnapping of children from poor homes to place them (at an expensive cost) in the homes of financially well, established members of society.
I give Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate 4 out of 5 Bookmarks. If you don’t mind depressing topics, go out and give this book a whirl.