BEFORE WE WERE YOURS
By LISA WINGATE
I remember it was around 1:00 am when I turned the last page.
I can’t remember if I was sucked in initially but, regardless of how this one started…it became one of those books I couldn’t wait to finish…and yet...didn’t want it to end.
The book is told in two narrative strands, past and present. One of a woman looking into a mysterious past; and the other of a child looking ahead to an uncertain future.
It created a drama that was both bleak and optimistic. It showed resilience and redemption.
It was uniquely human.
Avery is a woman finding her roots, while Rill is a girl afraid of losing hers. Two generations apart…forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice…a real-life scandal.
Georgia Tann and her Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage cast aside children for profit…
pure f*ck*ng evil.
I can’t help question how a place like this could actually exist. How could she do this? How did she sleep at night?
But she did…for years.
All the while…robbing children of their pasts and changing their futures.
Memphis, Tennessee….1939 on the Mississippi River shanty, the Arcadia. Five siblings live…to me…what seems like a magical life aboard a river shanty boat. Their days are filled with laughter…fishing…telling stories…running free through the wild.
The story was so rich with details I could smell the river, hear the laughter…and once that was taken away…I could hear the creaking of the floor boards in the orphanage and feel the pain of loss.
The power of money and politics. It still exists today.
As the book went on and the stories unfolded…I thought about all of the lies…the secrets. Does anyone really know their own parents? Do we really know our friends? What questions do you ask? What secrets does the person beside you in the elevator have…the person in line with you at the grocery store?
It awakens your senses…your curiosity and your wonder…but do you dare? I mean…do we really even want to know? Should some truths be left undiscovered? Should some secrets stay hidden inside Pandora’s box?
Stolen children subjected to horrors, a father with cancer, a grandmother with Alzheimer’s, an elderly woman whose sister dies and remains living with the body until discovered...
It’s a dark story to read at times…but in the very end…they find a little light.
In my opinion, it is definitely worth your time if you appreciate learning some history through engaging fiction.
Peter Pan said, ‘All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”
yet, certainly not in this case.