Nicole Says… Read This Book by Lisa Wingate

By Nicole McManus


Before We Were Yours

By Lisa Wingate

Present day, in Aiken, South Carolina, Avery Stafford has returned home to reestablish her residency. Her father is a Senator and has recently been diagnosed with cancer; therefore Avery’s role is to help her family, while also silently preparing to take on a governmental career. Avery is from a long-line of influential, wealthy people, but now they are forced to face secrets from the past that could permanently damage everything.

In the 1930s, Rill is the oldest of five children, living on the Mississippi River, when her mother goes into labor with twins. There are complications that force her parents to go to the nearest hospital. One morning the police come to take Rill and her siblings to see their parents. Unfortunately, they end up in the back seat of a car with Georgia Tann. Throughout the difficult times, Rill tries to keep her siblings safe and together, but will her determination be enough?

The first fifty pages of this book will rip open readers’ hearts and leave them with permanent goosebumps. Lisa Wingate’s powerful writing makes readers cling to every word. Despite the heartbreaking topics, Wingate provides readers with hope. Readers will devour this book in a day, then pass it along to all of their friends to experience, as this is the kind of book that one lives in, not just reads.

I have read other books by Lisa Wingate, and I enjoy the style of her books. However, these two story lines hit close to me. On the one hand, I saw evidence of abuse while I worked in an ER, and it is because of my work history that I became a 24/7 caregiver to my grandfather. On the other hand, while reading Rill’s point-of-view, I could clearly hear my Great-Aunt’s voice telling me different aspects of her life growing up. I realized how truly blessed my family was to be able to stick together through everything. I had never heard of Georgia Tann, but I have researched her “adoption facility” since reading this book. My heart goes out to those children and families who suffered at this greedy woman’s hands. This is the type of book that will stay with you forever. You should run, not walk, to the nearest bookstore/library to get this book.


About this writer

  • Nicole McManus

    Nicole McManus loves to read, to the point that she is sure she was born with a book in her hands. She writes book reviews in the hopes of helping others find the magic found through reading. Contact her at

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