We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Before We Were Yours Audiobook

Before We Were Yours: A Novel

Regular Price:$35.00
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Two families, generations apart, are forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice in this poignant novel, inspired by a true story, for fans of Orphan Train and The Nightingale.

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, 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. 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 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 - 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.

©2017 Lisa Wingate (P)2017 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"This heartbreaking story is also heart-mending - a powerful tale of family, of sisters, of secrets kept and secrets shared. I absolutely loved this book. I'm still basking in the afterglow, in shock at the true-crime elements, in awe at the journey of these characters who seem to have immortal souls." (Jamie Ford, New York Times best-selling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and Songs of Willow Frost)

"This captivating novel will quite likely break your heart, but because it's Lisa Wingate at the helm, you will not be left broken. She is a master storyteller and never fails to get to the heart of what makes us hold on to hope despite the worst that can be done to us. An unforgettable read." (Susan Meissner, author of Secrets of a Charmed Life)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (76 )
5 star
 (60)
4 star
 (11)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.7 (73 )
5 star
 (60)
4 star
 (8)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.8 (72 )
5 star
 (61)
4 star
 (8)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    joni everson 06-13-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    86
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story"

    This is absolutely one of the best books I have ever read! What a story- I never knew this had happened in our society- how sad that this continued for almost 30 years!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth V. Wills Frederick, MD 06-08-17
    Elizabeth V. Wills Frederick, MD 06-08-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    63
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This Book Will Stay With Me"
    Any additional comments?

    Wow! Just Wow! This book is an amazing account of child trafficking in the 1920s through 1950s. I know I'd heard about Georgia Tann but it wasn't something that stuck with me. It will stick with me now.

    This story was a beautifully woven story of one family's separation and the bond that could never be broken. I was on the edge of my seat listening.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wifey :) 06-14-17
    wifey :) 06-14-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    278
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another Wingate Winner"

    In typical Wingate style, we learn of tragedies yet hope. I applaud her writing & style! I found myself unable 2 quit listening until the end. She uses discretion in places other writers would not. This book comes from true history..let's not forget that this isn't just a book with "difficult things to hear". The Narrators were surperb. 6 out of 5 Stars!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan 06-09-17
    Susan 06-09-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gut Wrenching Life Journey"

    From the first page this story takes over your life. So full of love, hardships, life struggles and endurance. I was totally consumed. Also, a grim reminder of real life histories, poignant love.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-26-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't put it down"

    LOVED this book. Was recommended if I like The Nightingale and The Orphan Train.I loved both those books and this was just as good. Narrators really got into character. Story goes between 1940s and present. Each time it switches you wish you could stay in that era and then in no time you're totally engrossed and don't want to switch back! I love historical fiction and can't believe I didn't know about this. Made me want to be more informed. Great book. Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dana747 06-25-17
    dana747 06-25-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    33
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Wonderful story"

    I had to keep listening. I couldn't stop. The characters were very real to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Ryder 06-21-17
    M. Ryder 06-21-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    268
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    139
    87
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    15
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent But Disturbing!"

    Story was well written and told. Kept me glued, and wanting to learn more about Georgia Tan and if the children ever reunite with their families, even in adulthood. Had never heard of her, and extremely sad how she managed to get away with what she was doing for so many years. Really loved the narrators, especially the one who performed the parts of the big sister (May) and her siblings. Her southern drawl and ability to sound young was pretty impressive. Must say that I had a difficult time listening to this book, only due to the terrible treatment which was described throughout. An eye opener for sure!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NMwritergal 06-10-17
    NMwritergal 06-10-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    375
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    581
    105
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    15
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting story not well told"

    This novel has all the things I gravitate towards in story, subject, and structure. Alas…

    Avery (storyline in the present): Could not relate and didn’t care about her. Maybe it was the “poor little rich girl” vibe or that she didn’t seem too smart (despite being a lawyer) and seemed more like a teenager emotionally than a 30-yr-old.

    May (storyline in the past): In the present, where her story and Avery’s overlap, I related, and was interested. But until it got past the orphanage part in the storyline in the past, it was too much. Chapter after chapter of brutality. The author could have made her point without going on so long. Listening to a few hours of description of abuse was overkill. The before and after the orphanage was quite a bit more interesting.

    As well, the book was slow—many scenes went on forever with not much happening or 30 minute chunks of abuse.

    The other thing that drove me nuts in Avery’s part were her internal questions. They were constant, and I think once I counted about ten in a row, e.g., Could it be true? Was she wrong? Was she imagining things? What should she do? What would her parents think? Why was she feeling this way? And on and on.

    I listened on 1.25 speed and “fast forwarded” though many parts.

    Audio narrators very good, writing itself very good.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.