Rill is so lucky. She lives on a boat. In Memphis in 1939. On the mighty Mississippi. But then one night, her Dad must take her Mom to hospital. Mom is having a baby, and Rill and her four brothers and sisters can't wait to meet him or her. Only they don't come back, and that's when the family's lives are changed forever.
Meanwhile in South Carolina, Avery Stafford, a federal prosecutor, about to marry her fiancé, thinks the only blight on her horizon is her father's illness. But he's getting better and their lives as a prominent political family are getting back to their privileged normality. Until something strange happens that involves Avery's grandma's bracelet.
Based on so many true stories involving the infamous Georgia Tann, who was a director of the Tennessee Children's Home Society until 1950, this is intense.
Despite picking up this book only for the cover - it's so pretty, isn't it - I thoroughly enjoyed it. Lisa Wingate writes well, but my overwhelming memories are of this powerful, tragic and unfair story. It eclipsed everything else - the writing style, characters, and even the uplifting parts were shadowed by the horror of the past.
Thank you Lisa Wingate for exposing a part of history that I wouldn't have known about otherwise.
You may also enjoy The Precious One by Marisa De Los Santos or Hum if you don't know the words by Bianca Marais.