I discovered Lisa Wingate when I read about Dell in The Language of Sycamores. This unusual child got inside my heart. So I had to read more about her life in the following volumes of Wingate's Tending Roses series. I already knew that Lisa Wingate could write powerfully about children in need of supportive adults in their lives when I entered the publisher's giveway of Before We Were Yours on the Goodreads group Historical Fictionistas. That's why I knew that I needed to read and review it. Scroll down below the review to learn about the giveaway.
Before We Were Yours is a book about children removed from their families for profit in the late 1930's. In the case of the Foss family children who are at the center of this novel, they weren't vulnerable just because their parents were poor. They were also living an unconventional lifestyle. It was assumed that the children's needs weren't being met in those circumstances. Yet what do young children value most? If you ask them, love will always rank higher than wealth. It will also rank higher than all the conventional practices that most social workers consider essential.
Can adoptive parents be loving and caring? Of course they can, but being ripped from their loving birth parents, subjected to abuse at an orphanage and then being sold to the highest bidder isn't the best start for new relationships. Rill, the eldest of the Foss children, also knew that in a just world her family wouldn't have been torn apart like that. It wasn't right. So Rill continued to fight for reunification. I identified very strongly with Rill.
I read a Goodreads review complaining about Avery, the 21st century viewpoint character. It seemed to me that Avery was learning to question whether the life that had been laid out for her would make her happy. Her discoveries about the Foss family led her to a greater understanding about what she herself valued. Avery's character growth made me realize that she was integral to the book.
I thought that Before We Were Yours is a compelling book about class differences, justice, life choices and the strength of family bonds.
I have a hardcover copy of Before We Were Yours that I won from Historical Fictionistas. No one is excluded from entering the giveaway, but I welcome Historical Fictionistas members who want a second chance at winning this book.
You can enter this giveaway in one of two ways. You can follow this blog through Google Friends Connect if you have a Google account. These are the people that are shown as followers on the right of this page so that publishers are more likely to think of this blog for ARCs and blog tours. The second way you can enter the giveaway is by leaving a comment on this post telling my why you're interested in winning Before We Were Yours.
This giveaway has ended. The first winner selected didn't contact me. The second turned out to have followed this blog without intending to enter the giveaway. The third time was the charm. Congratulations to KEI STONEMINDZ the winner of this giveway!