Before We Were Yours told the shocking true story of a home for children that engaged in human trafficking in the early part of the 19th century. Young Rill was abducted with her four siblings by employees from the home when her parents momentarily left them alone. They ended up staying in the home, which was truly a house of horrors.
The matron in charge thrived on torturing the children through beatings, starvation, and verbal abuse. Rill’s siblings endured the same treatment until they were each sold to prominent families. Rill’s chapters were very compelling because she was so devoted to her brother and sisters. She felt powerless to help them, which created a deep struggle within her. Even though she was a child, she exhibited depth and courage that made her an engaging protagonist. Her journey through the home touched on all the elements of the horrible things that happened in the home and related back to her own emotional journey out of it.
The second narrative followed Avery, the granddaughter of a wealthy couple who was duty bound to her family. Avery was engaged, but didn’t seem too interested in her fiancé. Avery stumbled upon the orphanage story when an elderly woman recognized her and the bracelet she wore, then called her by another name. Avery’s investigation into the home lead her to Trent, a man who made her question her engagement. Trent also assisted Avery in unearthing the truth about her grandmother
Avery’s chapters were okay but paled in comparison to Rill’s because Rill had so much spunk. Avery was more of an average character who struggled to do anything beyond what her family thought was acceptable. The best thing about Avery was watching as her quest to uncover the truth gave her the courage to live her life for herself.
This was a harrowing story that was put together very well. The plot was intriguing, but it was the vivid writing that made everything work. I would recommend this and read more by this author.