Historical fiction

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Fiction authors do not need exorbitant amounts of imagination sometimes, especially when real life is rife with people behaving atrociously without remorse.

This book builds on the real story of the Tennessee Children’s home in Tennessee,USA.The children of people in harder circumstances, are mostly tricked into becoming wards of the state and then sold in under the table ‘adoptions’ to people who can afford it. They are then also open to blackmail.The tale begins in 1939 where the actual problems arise while in the present day, Avery Stafford stumbles onto secrets her Grandmother might have been keeping. Her grandmother is forgetting her life, and Avery is in a race against time to figure out what their family’s role had been in the story that she is uncovering. This search leads Avery into her own self, and she can now decide afresh what sort of person she actually is.

There is an underlying conversation in the scenario of nature versus nurture and everything that belongs to that discussion.The idea of identity driving life’s purpose is brought into question.The whole scenario is very moving. Surprisingly for the depth of the issue, I did not shed tears like I usually do for such books. That is probably the only reason I cannot, in good conscience give it a full five stars!

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