The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James | Berkley Publishing {Book Review}

Simone St. James

The Sun Down Motel  by Simone St. James

Book Summary:

Something hasn’t been right at the roadside Sun Down Motel for a very long time, and Carly Kirk is about to find out why in this chilling new novel from the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate New York, 1982. Viv Delaney wants to move to New York City, and to help pay for it she takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York. But something isnʼt right at the motel, something haunting and scary.

Upstate New York, 2017. Carly Kirk has never been able to let go of the story of her aunt Viv, who mysteriously disappeared from the Sun Down before she was born. She decides to move to Fell and visit the motel, where she quickly learns that nothing has changed since 1982. And she soon finds herself ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed her aunt.

Publication Date:

February 18th, 2020

Genre:

Thriller/Mystery

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

Purchase Your Copy:

Amazon Link | LibroFM Bookstore Link

My Review:

Simone St. James

The Sun Down Motel is my kind of mystery. I struggle with super graphic books in this genre and I appreciated that this was the perfect creepy reading ride while also not being gory.

The suspense factor came from the simple chilling details and I loved that The Sun Down Motel was not just the scene for the novel but also one of the main characters of this novel.

This book starts off slowly and builds up with both suspense and intrigue. The dual timelines worked well for me and helped flush out all the details that made me feel invested and drawn in.

While I am not normally interested in books regarding the paranormal, the balance was perfect here and this element was not offputting as I worried about when I heard there was a “ghost” aspect of this book. There was just as much of a murder mystery which is definitely more my style so if that is one of your hold-ups, don’t fear! This was my first book by Simone St. James and it won’t be my last.

Thank you to Berkley Publishing for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.


Disclosure: Some of the links above are Amazon affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes by Kathleen West | Berkley Publishing {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

Kathleen West

Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes by Kathleen West

Book Summary:

Perfect for fans of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Small Admissions, a wry and cleverly observed debut novel about the privileged bubble that is Liston Heights High–the micro-managing parents, the overworked teachers, and the students caught in the middle–and the fallout for each of them when the bubble finally bursts.

Isobel Johnson knows helicopter parents like Julia Abbott–a stage mom whose world revolves around interfering in her children’s lives–come with the territory. Julia resents teachers like Isobel, who effortlessly bond with students, including Julia’s own teenagers, who have started pulling further away from her.

Isobel has spent her teaching career in Liston Heights side-stepping the community’s high-powered families. But when she receives a threatening voicemail accusing her of Anti-Americanism and a “blatant liberal agenda,” she realizes she’s squarely in the fray. Rather than cowering, Isobel doubles down on her social-justice ideals. Meanwhile, Julia, obsessed with the casting of the high school’s winter musical, inadvertently shoves the female student-lead after sneaking onto the school campus. The damning video footage goes viral and has far-reaching consequences for Julia and her entire family.

With nothing to unite them beyond the sting of humiliation from public meltdowns, Isobel and Julia will find common ground where they least expect it, confronting a secret Facebook gossip site that’s stirring up more trouble for this tumultuous, fractured school community.

Publication Date:

February 4th, 2020

Genre:

Contemporary Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

My Review:

Kathleen West

Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes

Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes is a nuanced look at school politics at a prestigious school in an affluent Minnesota community. Written with humor and plenty of drama, West succeeds at sharing a look at high school life from the perspective of a well-meaning teacher who gets caught in the web of meeting the demands and expectations of parents/administrators and other teachers. We meet a slew of characters who set the scene and it is all too relatable to anyone who has ever been a part of a school community, whether as a teacher, parent or both.

There are helicopter parents, bullying on social media and conflicts between faculty and families. And then there are the students just trying to get through their high school years. The overbearing parents rule the roost at this school and West shares a great balance of laughable moments that seem totally unbeliever (unless you have been there and then you get it!) mixed with insight about just what students AND teachers are up against these days.

I found Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes to be a light read with a great mix of thought-provoking and timely topics many of us can relate to. While some of the storylines may seem over the top, for me, they added to the complexities schools deal with in this digital age. I did struggle at times with keeping track of all the characters but all in all, this was a very enjoyable book that would make for a great book club discussion!

More about Author Kathleen West:

Kathleen West is a veteran middle and high-school teacher. She graduated with a degree in English from Macalester College and holds a Master’s degree in literacy education from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Minneapolis with her hilarious husband, two sporty sons, and very bad Goldendoodle.

For more information, please visit: https://www.kathleenwestbooks.com

Thank you to Berkley Publishing for an advanced copy. 


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra | Berkley Publishing {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

a retelling of Little Women

Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra

Book Summary:

The timeless classic Little Women inspired this heartwarming modern tale of four sisters from New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra.

The March sisters—reliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy, and shy Beth—have grown up to pursue their separate dreams. When Jo followed her ambitions to New York City, she never thought her career in journalism would come crashing down, leaving her struggling to stay afloat in a gig economy as a prep cook and secret food blogger.

Meg appears to have the life she always planned—the handsome husband, the adorable toddlers, the house in a charming subdivision. But sometimes getting everything you’ve ever wanted isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

When their mother’s illness forces the sisters home to North Carolina for the holidays, they’ll rediscover what really matters.

One thing’s for sure—they’ll need the strength of family and the power of sisterhood to remake their lives and reimagine their dreams.

Publication Date:

December 3rd, 2019

Genre:

Contemporary Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

Little Women

Meg & Jo

I think expectations tend to be rather high when taking on a retelling, especially one like Little Women. For many people, Little Women is a book that was foundational for their love of reading. When I saw that Meg & Jo was a contemporary retelling of this classic novel, I was intrigued but also a little worried about my own expectations of it.

Seasons Edition

Seasons Edition of Little Women 

I ended up enjoying the modern tale of family, work, love, and siblinghood but I  struggled when comparing it to Little Women itself. For me, this story was entertaining as a stand-alone contemporary fiction novel, but it just didn’t work with its goal of retelling of Little Women.

A lot of this is just coming from my own personal preferences but I struggled to connect and didn’t love the changes to the storyline that happened. I also fully admit that I have rarely enjoyed a retelling(I am talking to you, Eligible, by Curtis Sittenfeld!), so maybe I am just not a good candidate for these types of novels! I do have to say, I admire anyone that takes on the retelling of a classic and I enjoyed Virginia Kantra’s writing style very much.

So the book was totally fine…I liked some of the characters more than others (which often happens for me with family life fiction) but I just didn’t love this because of what I was hoping it would be.

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own. 


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

 

The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin | Berkley Publishing {Book Review}

The Antidote for Everything book review

The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin

Book Summary:

“In this whip-smart and timely novel from acclaimed author Kimmery Martin, two doctors travel a surprising path when they must choose between treating their patients and keeping their jobs.
 
Georgia Brown’s profession as a urologist requires her to interact with plenty of naked men, but her romantic prospects have fizzled. The most important person in her life is her friend Jonah Tsukada, a funny, empathetic family medicine doctor who works at the same hospital in Charleston, South Carolina and who has become as close as family to her.

Just after Georgia leaves the country for a medical conference, Jonah shares startling news. The hospital is instructing doctors to stop providing medical care for transgender patients. Jonah, a gay man, is the first to be fired when he refuses to abandon his patients. Stunned by the predicament of her closest friend, Georgia’s natural instinct is to fight alongside him. But when her attempts to address the situation result in incalculable harm, both Georgia and Jonah find themselves facing the loss of much more than their careers.”

Publication Date:

February 18th, 2019

Genre:

Medical Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

The Queen of Hearts and The Antidote for Everything

I was very intrigued by this book after reading Kimmery Martins’ debut novel The Queen of Hearts. While I enjoyed a lot of the storyline, I struggled with some of the stereotypical language the author chose to include when describing some of the patients and it was off-putting as the reader.

When I read the premise of The Antidote for Everything I was very curious to see how she would handle a topic that is important but also something that I hoped would be spoken about with compassion and understanding. The Antidote for Everything takes on the issue of discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community specifically in the healthcare world.

I applaud Martin for taking on this highly relevant and important topic and it did seem as though she did her research to connect with people who are actually living this (because yes, this does still happen and without legal ramifications in place!)

This is a medical drama written by someone who obviously knows her stuff as she is a medical doctor herself. There is a certain amount of medical jargon throughout the book but not so much that someone that doesn’t work in this field would feel completely confused.

As far as the connection with the characters, that is where it got a little lost for me. I often long for more backstory and I just wanted a little more and to feel more of an understanding of who they were as individuals and in relation to one another. I felt strongly about the topic but unfortunately, things feel a little flat with the actual plotline because I felt I was analyzing things more than getting fully pulled into the writing.

So I have mixed feelings about the Antidote for Everything. It was an intriguing storyline that just lacked a strong connection with the characters for me. I do appreciate that she took on this highly relevant and timely topic that hopefully will help raise awareness of something that is still going on right now in our non-fictional world.

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own. 

My Fall 2019 Reading List | 12 Highly-Anticipated Fall 2019 Book Releases!

Highly Anticipated Fall 2019 Book Releases

2019 Reading…

While we are still in summer mode over here, you can tell fall is around the corner. There is a chill in the air in the mornings and the start of school for the kids is under two weeks away.

I always get excited to look ahead to a new season, especially when it comes to reading. This summer has had some spectacular book releases including a book I think might be my favorite EVER!

best books of 2019

The Best Books of 2019 (so far!)

2019 has been a great reading so far, considering how many favorites I had just during the first half of it! I am excited to see what ends up being on my top reads at the end of December if any of these fall reads make their way to the list.

My Fall 2019 Reading List:

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

Publication Date:

September 3rd, 2019

Genre:

Coming of Age Fiction

Book Summary:

“For fans of Before We Were Yours and Where the Crawdads Sing, a magnificent novel about four orphans on a life-changing odyssey during the Great Depression, from the New York Times bestselling author of Ordinary Grace. 

1932, Minnesota—the Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to an orphan named Odie O’Banion, a lively boy whose exploits earn him the superintendent’s wrath. Forced to flee, he and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own.

Over the course of one unforgettable summer, these four orphans will journey into the unknown and cross paths with others who are adrift, from struggling farmers and traveling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds. With the feel of a modern classic, This Tender Land is an en­thralling, big-hearted epic that shows how the magnificent American landscape connects us all, haunts our dreams, and makes us whole.”

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Red at The Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Publication Date:

September 17th, 2019

Genre:

Fiction/Family Life Fiction

Book Summary:

“An extraordinary new novel about the influence of history on a contemporary family, from the New York Times-bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming.

Two families from different social classes are joined together by an unexpected pregnancy and the child that it produces. Moving forward and backward in time, with the power of poetry and the emotional richness of a narrative ten times its length, Jacqueline Woodson’s extraordinary new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of this child.

As the book opens in 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody’s coming of age ceremony in her grandparents’ Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the soundtrack of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody’s mother, for her own ceremony– a celebration that ultimately never took place.

Unfurling the history of Melody’s parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs, the tolls they’ve paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history. As it explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, Red at the Bone most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives–even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be.”

Twice in a Blue Moon
Twice in a Blue Moom by Christina Lauren

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Publication Date:

October 22nd, 2019

Genre:

Contemporary Romance

Book Summary:

“From the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners and the “delectable, moving” (Entertainment Weekly) My Favorite Half-Night Stand comes a modern love story about what happens when your first love reenters your life when you least expect it…

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of young love and second chances.”

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Publication Date:

November 5th, 2019

Genre:

Mystery, Domestic Thriller & Suspense

Book Summary:

“From the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone comes another page-turning look inside one family’s past as buried secrets threaten to come to light. 

Be careful who you let in.

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.”

 

What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand

What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand

Publication Date:

October 8th, 2019

Genre:

Contemporary Fiction

Book Summary:

Secret lives and new loves emerge in the bright Caribbean sunlight, in the follow-up to national bestseller Winter in Paradise

A year ago, Irene Steele had the shock of her life: her loving husband, father to their grown sons and successful businessman, was killed in a plane crash. But that wasn’t Irene’s only shattering news: he’d also been leading a double life on the island of St. John, where another woman loved him, too. 

Now Irene and her sons are back on St. John, determined to learn the truth about the mysterious life -and death – of a man they thought they knew. Along the way, they’re about to learn some surprising truths about their own lives and their futures. 

Lush with the tropical details, romance, and drama that made Winter in Paradise a national bestseller, What Happens in Paradise is another immensely satisfying page-turner from one of American’s most beloved and engaging storytellers.”

Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur

Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur

Publication Date:

October 15th, 2019

Genre:

Memoir

Book Summary:

“A daughter’s tale of living in the thrall of her magnetic, complicated mother, and the chilling consequences of her complicity.

On a hot July night on Cape Cod when Adrienne was fourteen, her mother, Malabar, woke her at midnight with five simple words that would set the course of both of their lives for years to come: Ben Souther just kissed me. 
 
Adrienne instantly became her mother’s confidante and helpmate, blossoming in the sudden light of her attention, and from then on, Malabar came to rely on her daughter to help orchestrate what would become an epic affair with her husband’s closest friend. The affair would have calamitous consequences for everyone involved, impacting Adrienne’s life in profound ways, driving her into a precarious marriage of her own, and then into a deep depression. Only years later will she find the strength to embrace her life—and her mother—on her own terms.  

Wild Game is a brilliant, timeless memoir about how the people close to us can break our hearts simply because they have access to them, and the lies we tell in order to justify the choices we make. It’s a remarkable story of resilience, a reminder that we need not be the parents our parents were to us.”

 

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

Publication Date:

September 10th, 2019

Genre:

Non-Fiction, Communication & Sociology

Book Summary:

“Malcolm Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and #1 bestselling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, David and Goliath, and What the Dog Saw, offers a powerful examination of our interactions with strangers—and why they often go wrong.

How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to each other that isn’t true?

Talking to Strangers is a classically Gladwellian intellectual adventure, a challenging and controversial excursion through history, psychology, and scandals taken straight from the news. He revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, the suicide of Sylvia Plath, the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal at Penn State University, and the death of Sandra Bland—throwing our understanding of these and other stories into doubt. Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don’t know. And because we don’t know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world. In his first book since his #1 bestseller, David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell has written a gripping guidebook for troubled times.”

If I Could Tell You

If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman

Publication Date:

October 15th, 2019

Genre:

Fiction & Family Drama, Family Life Fiction

Book Summary:

“Hannah Beckerman pens a life-affirming novel that tells the story of a family divided and the secret that can possibly unite them—a must for fans of This Is Us.

“I loved it (even though it made me cry).”—Jojo Moyes

 A secret between two sisters.

A lifetime of lies unraveling.

Can one broken family find their way back to each other?

Audrey’s dream as a mother had been for her daughters, Jess and Lily, to be as close as only sisters can be. But now, as adults, they no longer speak to each other, and Audrey’s two teenage granddaughters have never met. Audrey just can’t help feeling like she’s been dealt more than her fair share as she’s watched her family come undone over the years, and she has no idea how to fix her family as she wonders if they will ever be whole again.

If only Audrey had known three decades ago that a secret could have the power to split her family in two, and yet, also keep them linked. And when hostilities threaten to spiral out of control, a devastating choice that was made so many years ago is about to be revealed, testing this family once and for all.

Once the truth is revealed, will it be enough to put her family back together again or break them apart forever?”

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

Publication Date:

October 25h, 2019

Genre:

Family Life Fiction

Book Summary:

“New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout continues the life of her beloved Olive Kitteridge, a character who has captured the imaginations of millions of readers.

Prickly, wry, resistant to change yet ruthlessly honest and deeply empathetic, Olive Kitteridge is “a compelling life force” (San Francisco Chronicle). The New Yorker has said that Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” and she has never done so more clearly than in these pages, where the iconic Olive struggles to understand not only herself and her own life but the lives of those around her in the town of Crosby, Maine.

Whether with a teenager coming to terms with the loss of her father, a young woman about to give birth during a hilariously inopportune moment, a nurse who confesses a secret high school crush, or a lawyer who struggles with an inheritance she does not want to accept, the unforgettable Olive will continue to startle us, to move us, and to inspire moments of transcendent grace.”

 

Happy Like This by Ashley Wurzbacher

Happy Like This by Ashley Wurzbacher

Publication Date:

October 15th, 2019

Genre:

Fiction Short Stories

Book Summary:

“The characters in Happy Like This are smart girls and professional women—social scientists, linguists, speech therapists, plant physiologists, dancers—who search for happiness in roles and relationships that are often unscripted or unconventional.

In the midst of their ambivalence about marriage, monogamy, and motherhood and their struggles to accept and love their bodies, they look to other women for solidarity, stability, and validation. Sometimes they find it; sometimes they don’t.

Spanning a wide range of distinct perspectives, voices, styles, and settings, the ten shimmering stories in Happy Like This offer deeply felt, often humorous meditations on the complexity of choice and the ambiguity of happiness.”

 

Fair Play by Eve Rodsky

Fair Play by Eve Rodsky

Publication Date:

October 1st, 2019

Genre:

Non-Fiction, Marriage/Family, Time Management

Book Summary:

“A revolutionary, real-world solution to the problem of unpaid, invisible work that women have shouldered for too long–from a woman tapped by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine as the expert on this topic for a new generation of women.

It started with the Sh*t I Do List. Tired of being the “shefault” parent responsible for all aspects of her busy household, Eve Rodsky counted up all the unpaid, invisible work she was doing for her family — and then sent that list to her husband, asking for things to change. His response was… underwhelming. Rodsky realized that simply identifying the issue of unequal labor on the home front wasn’t enough: She needed a solution to this universal problem. Her sanity, identity, career, and marriage depended on it. 

The result is Fair Play: a time- and anxiety-saving system that offers couples a completely new way to divvy up domestic responsibilities. Rodsky interviewed more than five hundred men and women from all walks of life to figure out what the invisible work in a family actually entails and how to get it all done efficiently. With four easy-to-follow rules, 100 household tasks, and a figurative card game you play with your partner, Fair Play helps you prioritize what’s important to your family and who should take the lead on every chore from laundry to homework to dinner. 

“Winning” this game means rebalancing your home life, reigniting your relationship with your significant other, and reclaiming your Unicorn Space — as in, the time to develop the skills and passions that keep you interested and interesting. Are you ready to try Fair Play? Let’s deal you in.”

Before and After by Lisa Wingate and Judy Christie

Before and After by Judy Christie & Lisa Wingate

Publication Date:

October 22nd, 2019

Genre:

Non-Fiction, Women in History, Adoption & True Crime

Book Summary:

“The incredible, 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. In Before and After, Wingate and Christie 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, long-silent victims of the tragically corrupt system return to Memphis with Wingate and Christie to reclaim their stories at a Tennessee Children’s Home Society reunion . . . with extraordinary results.”


I hope this list gives you some new reading inspiration. I would also love to hear what is on your fall reading list!

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, it helps cover some of the costs of this blog at no cost to you. Thank you for your support.