Journey back to Memphis, 1939 where 12-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings lived an exciting life aboard their family's Mississippi River shanty boat. Everything changed one stormy night when her father had to rush her mother to the hospital. Rill is left in charge of her siblings when strangers arrived in force. Thrust into a Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured they will soon be reunited with their parents, but they quickly discover the dark truth. At the hands of the facility's corrupt director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together through this world of danger and uncertainty.
In present day Aiken, South Carolina, Avery Stafford is born into wealth and privilege. She seems to have it everything from a successful career as a federal prosecutor to a handsome fiance with a fancy wedding on the horizon. When Avery returns home to help her father through a health crisis, a chance encounter burdens her with uncomfortable questions that send her on a journey through her family's long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.
Based on one of America's most notorious real-life scandals, where Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country, Lisa Wingate's story reminds us how even though the pats we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets our true home.