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Book Review of Before and After: The Incredible Real-Life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children's Home Society

VolunteerVal avatar reviewed on + 178 more book reviews


âThe saddest thing is when our stories die with us.â - Lisa Wingate, author of Before We Were Yours

This amazing non-fiction book is a collection of stories from adoptees of the Tennessee Children's Home Society (TCHS) as told to Judy Christie, as well as the origin story of a weekend reunion for TCSH survivors.

Much of America learned about the evils of Georgia Tann and her TCHS by reading the fictional novel Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. From the 1920s to 1950, Tann took infants, toddlers, and children from poor uneducated families and sold them to families primarily in California and New York who desperately wanted a child but couldn't adopt through traditional channels due to age and other factors.

This book is heartbreaking, challenging, and inspiring as readers learn the origin stories of several adoptees and accounts of their lives with their adoptive parents. The actions led by one ruthless person (Georgia Tann) impacted 5,000 children and countless birth parents, birth siblings and other family members, adoptive parents, adoptive siblings and family members, and generations of families.

I recommend reading Before We Were Yours and additional historical accounts of Tann and the TCHS in conjunction with Before and After.