“Before We Were Yours”- a book worth reading

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Memphis, 1939. The Foss siblings, “river rats”, have always kept to themselves. That is, until they are kidnapped from the only home they have known after their mama goes to the hospital during a difficult birth. Suddenly, Rill Foss is in charge of her brood of siblings. What could possibly go wrong? Nothing, until they are transported to a cruel orphanage, where they wait in vain for their parents. As they stay in the orphanage, they witness the constant filter of kids coming in and out of the wretched home. Will they ever see their mom and dad again? Will they find a family? Will they die in the home, or succumb to the authority of the orphanage? Tennessee, Present day. Avery Stafford is from a prominent political family. She has everything: wealth to live on, a handsome fiancé, and a successful career. She knows exactly what is expected of her, but when she begins to find out secrets about her family’s past, Avery begins to wonder who she is and if she is living the right way. 

What makes a good book? Round characters? A well-blended story? An interesting subject? An author who can use words flawlessly? If that is the case, then Lisa Wingate has written an excellent book. The characters she presents accurately fit the time period and are rounded well. Rounded characters, like Rill and her siblings, make stories come alive. Round characters make them feel like real-life people, They also can make or break a book. Unlike other authors, Wingate presents romance as an aspect of the characters’ lives, rather than letting it consume them and the aspects are tasteful and subtle. On another note, Wingate tugs on the heartstrings when she tells a story of true family with Rill and her siblings. Many readers, according to online reviews, were brought to tears. The feelings of desperation, confusion, and perseverance were key components in the story. 

 Stephen King once said, “Books are a kind of uniquely portable magic.” In this case, this is very true. Wingate transports readers to another place. She completely embodies the culture of the river gypsies. Lisa Wingate uses sound blending of past and present to make readers feel involved and present. 

As with every great book, “Before We Were Yours” has flaws. There is not a perfect book in any library in the world and Wingate’s book is no different. For history lovers, Wingate’s book is a must-read. For the history-adverse, this may not be as much of a priority. Despite all the praise, Wingate starts the book relatively slow. In addition, if readers are looking for an action-packed book, this is not one for them. However, if they choose to pick it up, they may not put it down until the very end. 

 

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