Regular price: £22.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Basket

New to Audible?

Your first audiobook is free
£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

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....

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career, 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, Before We Were Yours is a riveting, wrenching and ultimately uplifting tale.

©2017 Lisa Wingate (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"Lisa Wingate takes an almost unthinkable chapter in our nation's history and weaves a tale of enduring power." (Paula McLain)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    297
  • 4 Stars
    68
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    282
  • 4 Stars
    52
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    275
  • 4 Stars
    65
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

thoroughly enjoyed it

Little bit slow to start but once it got going I was hooked.

I really enjoyed this story but it wasn't without it's faults. Rill's narration was far more interesting than Avery's, and I found Avery to be a little dense for such a smart woman.

The narration was great.

I think what I found most interesting was it was based on true events and since reading this book I've looked up a lot to do with the orphanage.

I would recommend this listen.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well written. A gripping story, and good narrators

I really enjoyed this book, even though the love story was a bit obvious. Although these people didn't exist, the stories are based on history, so it was very gripping. Hard to imagine what the parents and children went through.
The narration was spot on. I liked having two narrators for Rill and Averly because it made the story easier to follow.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I loved this book

This is a fabulous book. It is a sad story beautifully told. I loved this book.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent production

Fascinating and very moving account of an era totally outside my experiences; brilliant narration ; I highly recommend this book

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An Interesting Historic Fiction

I really enjoyed this book which is about Georgia Tann who was orchestrator of true life scandalous adoptions in America. Though it is fiction, it is based on fact. This book is well written and narrated.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

More than expected

I was expecting a novel about orphans but this is based on truth. The story is nevertheless a real page turner. The author gives some further reading at the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • 02-11-18

Thank you Daily Deal for suggesting this book

A worthwhile read/listen on a variety of levels as not only is it an engaging story over generations with charm and intrigue, it's woven around historical facts about how shamefully children were treated before the contraceptive pill was invented and they suddenly became a rare commodity

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Most thought provoking and sad book but excellent!

I was in bits most of the time whilst listening to this book. The characters were amazing and at times could not hold back the tears ... this was even on packed train journeys to work. I am glad I have finished it as I was getting obsessed with the story but also already miss the characters! thank you for writing such a lovely book with such a powerful underpin.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A story of tragedy, love and reunion

An Incredible story of a families struggles and there amazing bond despite separation. Told from two characters points of view from different ends of the social scale. A love story unraveled and an incredible reunion and revelations.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing story

Although i read the book summary and the reviews, i did not expect the story i listened to. I cannot believe this happened - the kidnapping of children & new born babies from poor families, sent to a children's home that did not care for these babies and children, instead neglecting and abusing them, before selling them to the upper classes and the rich & famous - with fake documents, names and date of births all to ensure the biological families could never find them.
To hear the story from Rill's point of view as a stolen child going through this ordeal was heartbreaking at times but always shocking, It's like you're going through this ordeal with her and her siblings,
Avery's point of view as an adult trying to connect the dots of the illegal goings on in the Memphis orphanage back in the time of 1920's to 1950 to her family in the present day is enlightening - you feel like you're on that journey with her.
The story is very written and definitely worth a listen.
The author's note as the end of the book is very revealing especially as it mentions famous names connected with this kidnapping and adoption scandal.
I cannot believe that so many children never got to see their biological families again, despite private investigators trying to help them.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shea Elly
  • 13-09-18

Heartwarming and heartbreaking all in one

I had no knowledge of the events surrounding Georgia Tann and her awful deeds. The narrative weaves the reality and the fiction together so well that it is not hard to believe that it could be completely true. I was riveted from the first word. I was breathless with fear when the little ones were left and ultimately, I was worried when dealing with the health issues in present day and felt sadness at Grandma Judy's losses. I felt Avery's anguish in her decisions about her future and I wanted to solve the mysteries of who was who in each time. I must congratulate the two narrator's as their characterizations were integral to my enjoyment of the story. I will learn more about the adoption scandal now as my interest has been piqued by this tale. I highly recommend this book as it is a truly rich story with lovable characters and a well developed storyline. Bravo to the author and the voice artist's. Magnificent job.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lars
  • 16-05-18

Lost lives.

A wonderful story of how the lives of helpless and defenseless people can unravel. One can never imagine what children remember or how it gets understood.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Victoria
  • 18-04-18

A Great Read

I was lost in this book, every time i played this, I did a time travel. I went from being Rail to Avery. I was certain this is not entirely fictional and the last chapter cleared my doubts.
I loved this book all the way.
The performance was Excellent.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • George Karanasios
  • 04-03-18

Before We Were Yours

Excellent performance and story, though there was too much telling rather than showing the emotions of the characters. In Avery's case, I couldn't understand or be sympathetic with her.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful