READING WITH THE AUTHORS:Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate Reviewed by Meredith Leigh Burton

READING WITH THE AUTHORS:Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate Reviewed by Meredith Leigh Burton

Good afternoon campbellsworld visitors and welcome to the Reading With the Authors column.

Growing up way back in the dark ages before things like internet and digital download, while reading I’d often wonder what the authors I loved read.

Now, I’ve got my own marketing business and one of the things I’ve done has been to ask that question of the authors I serve.

Today, author Meredith Leigh Burton has dropped in to answer that question for me.

Now, she reads many different genres by various authors I’m sure but today she’s done a nice review, which just happens to be on my TBR list. So, without further delay I give you, Meredith and her review.

Be sure to continue reading once you’ve enjoyed her review to learn about Meredith’s fabulous work.






How would you feel if you had been taken from your birth parents and placed in an orphanage to be sold to the highest paying customer? Rill Foss and her four siblings are stolen from their father’s shanty boat when he has to take their mother to the hospital.  What follows is a riveting, heartbreaking but ultimately hopeful story of several generations of a family trying to solve the mystery of where they belong.  Interwoven through Rill’s story is the tale of Avery Stafford, a senator’s daughter who is seeking to unravel questions concerning her grandmother’s past.  Both stories come together in a beautiful tapestry of family love, hope and redemption.

Lisa Wingate’s Before We Were Yours is a gripping story based on true events concerning the child trafficking work of Georgia Tann and the Tennessee Children’s Home Society from the 1930’s to the 1950’s.  The novel inspired me to research the true events, which were horrifying and eye-opening.  Wingate does an excellent job of portraying the horrors Georgia Tann perpetrated without making the book lurid or distasteful.  At its core, the novel, while shedding light on grave injustice, carries a message of hope.  Rill Foss is a delightful girl, and I loved the chapters from her perspective.  Her determination and love for her siblings is endearing, and I just wanted to reach through the pages and give her a hug.  The chapters from Avery Stafford’s perspective were enjoyable, although there is a predictable romance that made me a bit weary.  I was so absorbed in Rill’s story that it was hard to pull myself from her perspective.  Wingate does a superb job of bringing all the plot strands of each tale together into a cohesive whole.

Before We were Yours is a riveting story that will keep you hooked until the last page.  I thoroughly recommend this gem of a novel based upon true crime events.


CAUTIONS: Some violence.

Some illusions to child molestation, although nothing explicit occurs.


Before We were Yours is available from NLS in both Braille and audiobook formats.  Db 88202.  Br 21901


Below is the NLS Synopsis…


Before we were yours: a novel DB88202
Wingate, Lisa. Reading time: 14 hours, 31 minutes.
Read by Catherine Taber; Emily Rankin.

Historical Fiction

The five Foss children are left alone at home in 1930s Mississippi and subsequently kidnapped by notorious child dealer Georgia Tann. In the present day, Avery Stafford meets elderly May–who used to be Rill Foss and is the sister of Avery’s Grandma Judy. Avery investigates her family’s history. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2017.
Download Before we were yours: a novel






Meredith Leigh Burton was born on July 4, 1983.  She attended the Tennessee School for the Blind and Middle Tennessee State University.  Graduating in December of 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and theater, she then obtained her teaching certification for grades 7-12.  She enjoys working with students, helping them to explore their own talents and learn self-expression through writing.  She also enjoys helping with church activities.  She resides in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

Meredith is an author of young adult fantasy.  Her recent release, Blind Beauty and Other Tales of Redemption, is an anthology of fairy tale retellings that seek to explore the familiar tales in unique ways.  Most of her works feature disabled protagonists who are called upon to fight against evil.  All her characters face difficult obstacles and must find strength to fight.  Meredith hopes to show her readers that disabilities are really blessings, that we all have gifts and long to make a difference in the world.

To see and buy her book visit her at:

Find her on Goodreads at:

Find her on Audible at:

Buy her book in braille at:

Blind Beauty and Other Tales of Redemption is now also available on cartridge from the Tennessee branch of the National Library for Books and Accessible Media, (National Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped).  Meredith is working to get it uploaded on BARD, but that will take a while.  People may call and request the book on cartridge.



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