Book Review of Before We Were Yours: A Novel

Before We Were Yours: A Novel
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Wingate uses the historical framework of a corrupt adoption system in Tennessee to tell the story of a fictional family torn apart by a system that saw the children of poor and often uneducated parents as commodities to be sold to the highest bidders.

Rill Foss is left in charge of her four siblings when their father makes a frantic trip to get their laboring mother to a hospital. In the adults' absence, the children are removed to an orphanage where they are systematically stripped of their identities and separated under the auspices of the "Tennessee Children's Home Society".

Their story is revealed piecemeal when the daughter of a prominent political family in modern-day South Carolina begins trying to understand the actions of her grandmother, whose dementia is stealing memories she may or may not have ever intended to share.