THE BLOCKBUSTER HITâ€”Over two million copies sold! A New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly Bestseller
â€śPoignant, engrossing.â€ťâ€”People â€˘ â€śLisa Wingate takes an almost unthinkable chapter in our nationâ€™s history and weaves a tale of enduring power.â€ťâ€”Paula McLain
Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their familyâ€™s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in chargeâ€”until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Childrenâ€™s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parentsâ€”but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facilityâ€™s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.
Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancĂ©, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her familyâ€™s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.
Based on one of Americaâ€™s most notorious real-life scandalsâ€”in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the countryâ€”Lisa Wingateâ€™s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.
Publishers Weeklyâ€™s #3 Longest-Running Bestseller of 2017 â€˘ Winner of the Southern Book Prize â€˘ If All Arkansas Read the Same Book Selection
This edition includes a new essay by the author about shantyboat life.