April 17, 2017

Before We Were Yours

Lisa Wingate has been my favorite author for some time. She writes stories with heart, and creates characters with such depth that I feel their absence when I’ve turned the last page. It seems like each new book of hers becomes a favorite.

I finished Before We Were Yours yesterday, and I’m already in serious withdrawal. If there isn’t a sequel planned for this book, I’ll be willing to get on my knees and beg for one to make it happen. I’ve grown so attached to these characters. I want them back!

Ms. Wingate does a superb job of melding dual time periods, dual stories, into one cohesive book. I love both the present day story and the one that is drawn from the past. As in all her books, I’m mostly pulled into the characters of the past, as in this story, drawn into the mind of young Rill Foss.

Rill, her siblings, and parents have seared permanent memories in my heart. They have few worldly possessions, but carry immeasurable love in their souls. I laughed with them, feared for them, and cried over their hardships. I was drawn in even deeper to their stories by knowing that many elements mirrored true-life events. I became Rill, saw the world through her young eyes, cried her tears, and dreamed her dreams.

The present-day main character, Avery Stafford, has a heart of gold. She’s empathetic, curious, and willing to follow unknown paths to find the truth, even if the truth could change her life, and the life of others, forever.

Beautiful babies, ugly babies; brilliant babies, dull babies; healthy babies, sick, handicapped babies; babies with blue eyes, brown eyes, black eyes; with golden hair, black hair, curly-locked and straight; babies thin and babies fat; babies three days old, three months or years old, and all the way stations in between; babies with full family histories and babies with no family history; without age, name or birth certificate, unknown waifs tossed into alleyways or dumped into garbage cans… Baby girls are more feminine, alluring; they are grand little self-advertisers and they know instinctively how to strut their stuff…Women and strong men grow mad, become besotted with adoration and want to kidnap them on the spot. ~From the article “The Baby Market” The Saturday Evening Post, February 1930

It’s so difficult for me to pick a favorite book. I love books for many different reasons. The Little House, Trixie Belden, and Nancy Drew series gave me a fun sense of adventure. To Kill a Mockingbird made me see the world as it was, rather than the way I wished it to be. Gone With the Wind provided an escape through some tough times in my life…

Before We Were Yours caused every nerve ending in my body to prickle, and gave my soul the major f-e-e-l-s. With vivid scenes, remarkable characters, a momentous historical scandal, and lessons of faith, family, friendship, and freedom, this book tops my list of the most memorable, heart-searing books I’ve read. I can’t imagine anything topping it.

5 Huge Stars!

Cover: Love
Title: Love
Pages: 352
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 978-0425284681
I received a complimentary copy.

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