Thursday, November 28, 2019

BEFORE AND AFTER by Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate. Non-Fiction reviewed by Winnie Thomas

BEFORE AND AFTER: The Incredible Real-Life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children's Home Society
After reading Lisa Wingate’s Before We Were Yours, a moving story based on the tragic real-life Tennessee Children’s Home Society adoption scheme headed by Georgia Tann, I was very interested in reading more about the adoptees. Before and After is a nonfiction account of some of the victims of Tann’s greed and corruption. It was interesting to read their stories and thoughts about their lives and how they were affected by the adoptions. Many of them were able to connect with siblings and other members of their birth families with varying results.

The book is well written and kept my interest throughout. It’s a fitting and touching follow-up to Wingate’s story. 

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb:
The compelling, poignant true stories of victims of a notorious adoption scandal—some of whom learned the truth from Lisa Wingate’s bestselling novel Before We Were Yours and were reunited with birth family members as a result of its wide reach.

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.

Available in digital ebook, hardcover and audiobook: 
Buy Before and After at Amazon
Buy Before and After at


  1. Thank you so very much for sharing about this new author to me and her intriguing sounding book! I really would love to read it.

  2. I had no idea that this book was even out there. I've read Before We Were Yours so I'm sure I'll like this one too. It's great to learn that there have been families brought together due to Lisa's novel.


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