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Before and After

The Incredible Real-Life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children's Home Society
Narrated by: Emily Rankin
Length: 5 hrs and 30 mins

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Publisher's Summary

The incredible, poignant true stories of victims of a notorious adoption scandal - some of whom learned the truth from Lisa Wingate’s best-selling novel Before We Were Yours and were reunited with birth family members as a result of its wide reach.

From the 1920s to 1950, Georgia Tann ran a black-market baby business at the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in Memphis. She offered up more than 5,000 orphans tailored to the wish lists of eager parents - hiding the fact that many weren’t orphans at all, but stolen sons and daughters of poor families, desperate single mothers, and women told in maternity wards that their babies had died.

The publication of Lisa Wingate’s novel Before We Were Yours brought new awareness of Tann’s lucrative career in child trafficking. Adoptees who knew little about their pasts gained insight into the startling facts behind their family histories. Encouraged by their contact with Wingate and award-winning journalist Judy Christie, who documented the stories of 15 adoptees in this book, many determined Tann survivors set out to trace their roots and find their birth families.

Before and After includes moving and sometimes shocking accounts of the ways in which adoptees were separated from their first families. Often raised as only children, many have joyfully reunited with siblings in the final decades of their lives. In Before and After, Wingate and Christie tell of first meetings that are all the sweeter and more intense for time missed and of families from very different social backgrounds reaching out to embrace better-late-than-never brothers, sisters, and cousins. In a poignant culmination of art meeting life, long-silent victims of the tragically corrupt system return to Memphis with Wingate and Christie to reclaim their stories at a Tennessee Children’s Home Society reunion...with extraordinary results.

©2019 Lisa Wingate and Judy Christie (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“A poignant, engrossing tale about sibling love and the toll of secrets.” (People)

Before We Were Yours is sure to be one of the most compelling books you pick up this year.... [Lisa] Wingate is a master storyteller, and you’ll find yourself pulled along as she reveals the wake of terror and heartache that is Georgia Tann’s legacy.” (Parade)

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