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Before We Were Yours: A Novel

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Lisa Wingate

Narrated By: Catherine Taber, Emily Rankin

Publisher: Random House (Audio)

Date: June 2017

Duration: 14 hours 29 minutes


THE BLOCKBUSTER HIT—A New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly Bestseller

For readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale comes a “thought-provoking [and] complex tale about two families, two generations apart . . . based on a notorious true-life scandal.”*

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.

*Library Journal

Publishers Weekly’s #3 Longest-Running Bestseller of 2017 • Winner of the Southern Book Prize • If All Arkansas Read the Same Book Selection 

“A [story] of a family lost and found . . . a poignant, engrossing tale about sibling love and the toll of secrets.”—People

“Sure to be one of the most compelling books you pick up this year. . . . Wingate is a master-storyteller, and you’ll find yourself pulled along as she reveals the wake of terror and heartache that is Georgia Tann’s legacy.”—Parade


  • Cassie S

    This was the most fabulous book and the narration was so touching. I had no idea that this was historical fiction prior to listening to it and recommend this highly! I usually only listen in the car and had to find excuses to get into the car as it neared the end!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful.

  • colleen c

    Fascinating story and scary because it actually happened since many cases. The book was so well-written I felt like I knew these people intimately! I got through it very quickly and was very sad when it was over

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful.

  • Corey R.

    Narration was fantastic and the book was a total "hit"!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful.

  • Susan W.

    Great narration on this book. The story was split in two time periods going back and forth every other chapter. The earlier time framed chapters were much better written and far more interesting. The reader really made you feel like the child in the story was actually telling you her story from her 12 year old perspective. The later time period chapters sounded like a Hallmark story, unfortunately. But every other chapter was so good, it was well worth the listen. I love historical fiction books and this was a good one!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

  • Pam W.

    Narrator was phenomenal. Story was devastating but we'll told and it's sticking with me days after I've finished it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Janet G.

    What a compelling story told in such a creative way! This is the kind of book that touches your heart while teaching you something about history that you probably didn't know.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Lisa D.

    I listen to audio books when I commute from work. This book was so well written and narrated that I wanted to drive and drive and drive to hear what would happen next. I could hardly wait to head home after work every day. Very touching story of love and love lost. Highly recommend!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Mistey M.

    Fabulous book ! The narration was wonderful !! I felt like I was there

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Itzik L.

    Great story, love it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Mayda T.

    Riveting and wonderful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Before We Were Yours: A Novel

by Lisa Wingate

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Before We Were Yours: A Novel, Lisa Wingate