Before and After

Before and After

The Incredible Real-Life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children's Home Society

eBook - 2019
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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.
Advance praise for Before and After
“In Before and After, authors Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate tackle the true stories behind Wingate’s blockbuster Before We Were Yours, of the orphans who survived the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. With a journalist’s keen eye and a novelist’s elegant prose, Christie and Wingate weave together the stories that inspired Before We Were Yours with the lives that were changed as a result of reading the novel. Readers will be educated, enlightened, and enraptured by this important and flawlessly executed book.”—Pam Jenoff, author of The Orphan’s Tale and The Lost Girls of Paris
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group


From the critics

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Mar 20, 2021

Redundant, chapter after chapter.

Feb 01, 2021

Excellent!!! Must read!!! I texted my niece who is a genetic counselor, actually the only person who does exactly what she does with DNA's, to please read. Heart touching, and causes us to hang on to what we have in our family history, know we are blessed. So educational to our U.S. history!

Sep 14, 2020

Excellent! This book happened because of BEFORE WE WERE YOURS by Lisa Wingate. So compelling!

Aug 17, 2020

What a disappointment! Read half the book and you have read it all as it repeats itself or fulfills what it tells you they are going to say or do. The authors seem to be trying to sell the book by Wingate, "Before We Were Yours", which doesn't need the hype by the way. The main author is a little self centered with her and Lisa's interviews, meetings with the the adopted children (now adults) and their families. Over and over they try to play on your's and the adopted ones feelings, confusion, abandonment and injustices concerning Tanner's actions. Rated is less than a full 3 star. DISAPPOINTED!

Aug 11, 2020

i am rereading this book after reading lisa wingate latest touching beautiful read

Jul 03, 2020

This book left me somewhat conflicted. There is no doubt that Georgia Tann and her cohorts were despicable, self-serving villains. Nor is there doubt that the infants and toddlers she stole, bought, whatever were her victims with heart-breaking gaps in their lives. The conflict comes when I try to balance these children, many of whom ended up in wonderful homes, against those nineteen unknowns buried at Elmwood and the others who are rumored to have been buried on the grounds of the TCHS. The final question for me has no one size fits all answer. Is it wrong to give up a child to adoption? Is it a criminal move to adopt a child? There are layers to this question the book does not recognize.

Mar 24, 2020

I loved this book!
As a follow-up to Lisa Wingate's 'Before We Were Yours', Christie helps her friend meet and write the stories of the real-life Tennessee Orphans. Each one heart wrenching, each one healing.
This would make a wonderful Book Group Read.

DBRL_IdaF Mar 03, 2020

A nonfiction follow-up to Lisa Wingate's historical fiction book "Before We Were Yours." After her tale of separated siblings was published, she began receiving messages from readers who said they were survivors of the Tennessee Children's Home Society, or their parents were.

In "Before and After," Wingate's friend and fellow writer, Judy Christie, shares the individual true stories these families poured out to her.

This book is written for readers who are already familiar with the history of Georgia Tann and her corrupt child-selling schemes, especially as woven into Wingate's novel.

Dec 29, 2019

Ellie recommendation

Nov 13, 2019

If you read BEFORE WE WERE YOURS, you’ll want to read this book. After publication of the novel, many people came forward with their stories of experiences at the Tennessee Children’s Home. The stories of these adoptees help flesh out the reality of the horrors of The Tennessee Children’s Home. (Net Galley Review Copy)

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