Book Review of
Before and After
From the 1920s to 1950, Georgia Tann ran a black-market baby business at the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in Memphis. She offered up more than 5,000 orphans tailored to the wish lists of eager parents—hiding the fact that many weren’t orphans at all, but stolen sons and daughters of poor families, desperate single mothers, and women told in maternity wards that their babies had died.
The publication of Lisa Wingate’s novel Before We Were Yours brought new awareness of Tann’s lucrative career in child trafficking. Adoptees who knew little about their pasts gained insight into the startling facts behind their family histories. Encouraged by their contact with Wingate and award-winning journalist Judy Christie, who documented the stories of fifteen adoptees in this book, many determined Tann survivors set out to trace their roots and find their birth families.
Before and After includes moving and sometimes shocking accounts of the ways in which adoptees were separated from their first families. Often raised as only children, many have joyfully reunited with siblings in the final decades of their lives. Christie and Wingate tell of first meetings that are all the sweeter and more intense for time missed and of families from very different social backgrounds reaching out to embrace better-late-than-never brothers, sisters, and cousins. In a poignant culmination of art meeting life, many of the long-silent victims of the tragically corrupt system return to Memphis with the authors to reclaim their stories at a Tennessee Children’s Home Society reunion . . . with extraordinary results.
If you read and loved Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate, Before and After is a must read!
Maybe saying it is a must read is a bit strong, but if you love knowing the facts behind the fiction, I think you will love Before and After by Lisa Wingate. It contains the real life stories behind the kids who survived the Tennessee Children’s Home.
I recently read a review from a blogger recently that loved Before We Were Yours, didn’t like Before and After. Not all books are for all people, I get that, but this reviewer wanted Before and After to be more of a narrative nonfiction. They were looking for a “you can’t put it down type of book.” Before and After is not that kind of book. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great book.
If you go into Before and After expecting it to read like the fiction version, you will be disappointed. But if you go into wanting to know the facts and real stories behind the fiction version, I think you will love this book.
For me it was a can’t put it down type of book. I was fascinated by the real life stories and how they were so similar to the fiction version.
Before and After shares the real stories of those who survived The Tennessee Children’s Home. It shares the good and the bad. It shares stories of finding missing family members. It shares the heartaches, struggles, and scars that these kids had. It also shared the good stories too. The ones where survivors met other survivors and realize that they are not alone.
This book is so well done. The books paired perfectly together. I highly encourage you to read both Before We Were Yours and Before and After.