Title: Before we were Yours
Author: Lisa Wingate
What's it about?
Present day: The stories of two women collide when Avery, the daughter of a senator and the family's hope for the future has an odd run in with an elderly woman at a nursing home she visits. Little does she know that this one encounter will change her life forever.
Memphis 1939. Rilla's life is about to take a turn when her parents, leave their river home to seek medical help, leaving Rilla with her 4 siblings behind. Eager for word of their parents, Rilla and her brother and sisters are taken from their home and forced into a journey to come to terms with losing everyone they love and find new home, despite every obstacle thrown into their way.
But when there are too many unanswered questions and not nearly enough answers, it becomes impossible to walk away from even if the answers ensure that life will never again be the same.
Favorite Character: Rilla. I loved that you see an evolution in her character from the start of the story when we first meet her on the river boat they live on back in 1939 all the way until the last view we have of her. She's nurturing, loving, sassy and smart.
Least Favorite Character: Ms. Tann. I just don't understand people who fail to see the value in human life. The worst part is, there really was a Georgia Tann who lived and had a similar business many years ago.
Favorite part: The end. It wasn't exactly what I wanted. Not by far but there was beauty in it. It ended the way it should have. It was poetic and satisfying. It was bitter sweet and tear jerking. It was was perfect and full of peace and closure.
Least Favorite Part: The party. I was devastated. It seriously made me wonder if I wanted to read this book any further.
I'd heard so many people talk about this book, and I'm not even sure I knew what it was about before I picked it up...and it did NOT disappoint. I had all the feels. I was hooked right away! I couldn't decide if I got more "the Notebook" or "Fried Green Tomatoes" (the movie) vibes. I guess it all depended on the page I was reading.
This story is heavily carried by the characters and emotions, though the story is compelling on it's own. The time shifts were done well and organized, allowing for easy following between the two times (Present day South Caroline and Memphis 1939) but came together to produce an epic story to make you feel. I walked away from this book with a HUGE book hangover. It took me days to even find words to begin to explain my experience with this book!
There was a beauty within this story, even through the heart breaks. It was one of those stories that reminds you that the "right" ending isn't always "and everyone lived happily ever after" with sunshine and rainbows, even if that's exactly what we want. Maybe it's because I was raised in a nursing home, but there was something so poetic about this story that reminds us that age doesn't mean "worthless" and that we can absolutely learn and grow from the knowledge, experience and mistakes of earlier generations. This is a story that needs to be read. It needs to be experienced!
What do I rate ?
I give this book a
But that's just me. What did you think? Did you love this book? Hate it? Go through a whole box of tissues reading it? Let us know in the comments.