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Before We Were Yours

Lisa Wingate

I thought this might be a bit light but actually it was gripping, mostly because it is based on true events.   This is the story of Georgia Tann and the Tennessee Children’s Home Society.  What started as an organisation in the 1920s that rescued children from terrible circumstances became a highly profitable trade in children.  Children were kidnapped, parents duped into signing papers, blind eyes turned by the authorities.  Whether sold off for adoption for an exorbitant fee, or left to survive in a Children’s Home, the child’s history was erased.  The scandal was exposed in 1951 and was well documented which is where the author found much of her material to create the poor Foss family who live on a riverboat on the margins of society.  Interspersing chapters flip to modern times and the politically ambitious Stafford family which I found less interesting and some of the characterisation was a bit cliched but over all a good read.