Before We Were Yours – Lisa Wingate

Before We Were Yours tells the story of two families, two generations. Present day we have Avery, a girl who has it all: the loving fiancé, a great career and a prominent and loving family, who she has returned home to in the wake of a health crisis of her father’s. Late 1930’s we have Rill Foss, a young girl living with her siblings and parents on a river boat. Happy and carefree everything changes when she and her siblings are ripped form their home and packed off to a group house. Can Rill keep her family together? How does this tie in with Avery? This historical fiction gives insight into stolen children and illegal adoptions.


One things I really enjoyed about this novel was how it grabbed my attention from the beginning. The format of the book switching narrators and time periods kept an air of mystery that kept me wanting more, wanting to know how it fit together. Incredibly fast-paced with strong writing I was captivated. Some aspects of the storyline were a tad predictable, but not necessarily in a bad way, I was just able to predict where certain aspects would lead. I enjoyed Avery’s voice in the present, desperate to understand her family’s involvement with a mysterious figure at a nursing home.


Rill and the story form the past was captivating, harrowing and touching. The characters were loveable and vivid and all you wanted was for them to get their happy ending. It was heart-breaking to realise that despite the characters being fictional, the experiences were realistic and not far-removed from the truth of those group homes. Wingate provides some background information and reading at the end for the interested in the historical aspect. I though the ending was realistic and not too sentimental. Quite fitting for the story as the reader comes to discover.


I would recommend this one for lovers of historical fiction, especially those that enjoy something realistic and historically accurate. This was a fast-paced and beautiful read, one I thoroughly enjoyed. I give Before We Were Yours four dragonflies, for each of the sisters.



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