Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours

by

Lisa Wingate

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Gabion “Gabby” Foss/Robby Weathers Character Analysis

Rill Foss’s younger brother. Gabion is called Gabby by his siblings and parents, Queenie and Briny Foss. He is about two years old when he and his siblings are kidnapped by Georgia Tann and put up for adoption. Tann is captivated by Gabby’s angelic face and perfectly curly blond hair. She renames him Robby Weathers and predicts that he will be adopted quickly. After being kept in an orphanage with his siblings for a while, Gabby and three of his sisters (Rill, Fern, and Lark) are brought to a “viewing” for wealthy potential adoptive parents to see them. As predicted, Gabby is a favorite with the potential adopters and at the end of the night, Tann allows a couple to pay for him and bring him home. Rill tries to get Gabby back but is taken away. Although Rill reconnects with a couple of her siblings later in life, she never discovers what happened to Gabby.

Gabion “Gabby” Foss/Robby Weathers Quotes in Before We Were Yours

The Before We Were Yours quotes below are all either spoken by Gabion “Gabby” Foss/Robby Weathers or refer to Gabion “Gabby” Foss/Robby Weathers. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Personal Identity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ballantine edition of Before We Were Yours published in 2017.
Chapter 16 Quotes

Even the name sounds strange in my mind now. People keep calling me May. Maybe Rill’s still on the river someplace with Camellia, and Lark, and Fern, and Gabion. Maybe they’re drifting down in the lazy low-water summer currents, watching boats pass and barges go by and Cooper’s hawks circle wide and slow, hunting for fish to dive after.

Maybe Rill is only a story I read, like Huck Finn and Jim. Maybe I’m not even Rill and never was.

I turn and run down the steps and across the yard, my dress sweeping up around my legs. I stretch out my arms and throw back my head and make my own breeze, and for a minute, I find Rill again. I’m her.

Page Number: 175-176
Explanation and Analysis:

“Perhaps you should have thought of that before you invented some ridiculous story about your fictitious sister and poor Mr. Riggs.”

Blood pounds in my head. I try to make sense of what she’s saying, but I can’t.

“There never was any… Camellia. You and I both know that, don’t we, May? There were four of you when you came here. Two little sisters and one little brother. Only four. And we’ve done a marvelous job in finding homes, thus far. Good homes. And for that, you are most grateful, aren’t you?” She motions to Mrs. Pulnik. […] “There will be no more of this nonsense out of you. Do you understand?”

Get the entire Before We Were Yours LitChart as a printable PDF.
Before We Were Yours PDF

Gabion “Gabby” Foss/Robby Weathers Character Timeline in Before We Were Yours

The timeline below shows where the character Gabion “Gabby” Foss/Robby Weathers appears in Before We Were Yours. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
...watch her moan and scream in pain. Lark tries to distance herself, but Fern and Gabion creep closer to see—Queenie looks and sounds like a different person, not like their adoring,... (full context)
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...some pears that they can all share for dinner. Rill, Lark, and Fern each give Gabion (the youngest sibling at two years old) an extra piece of cornpone, but Camellia eats... (full context)
Chapter 6
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
...that scared a lot of people away. Rill suddenly becomes worried and picks up both Gabion and Fern when they wander over to the door. Zede tells Rill she’s in charge,... (full context)
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
After everyone’s eaten, Silas and Rill start talking. Rill tells Camellia to help clean Gabion up, which irritates Camellia. Silas asks Rill if she’s ever going to get dressed and... (full context)
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...car that’s waiting and looks at the children—she is delighted by Rill, Lark, Fern, and Gabion’s blond curls, but is less impressed with Camellia’s dark hair. However, she says she’ll manage... (full context)
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Once in the car, Tann holds Gabion and admires his hair, but says he needs a bath to get rid of the... (full context)
Chapter 8
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...also says that Rill and her siblings will go by May, Iris, Bonnie, Beth, and Robby Weathers . Murphy is to make sure all the kids are ready for a viewing party... (full context)
Chapter 12
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...blond hair. When Saturday comes around, Rill realizes she was right. She, Fern, Lark, and Gabion take an extra bath, but Camellia doesn’t have to. Rill begs Camellia to be good... (full context)
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...mill about, talking to Tann and the children. Rill sees Lark coloring with one woman, Gabion playing with a couple, and a woman reading to Fern. The woman calls to her... (full context)
Chapter 14
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...are getting ready to leave, Rill notices that the couple who has been playing with Gabion all day don’t want to let him go. Rill tries to tell him that they... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...the baby sister. Before she knows it, the car starts and begins driving away without Gabion. Mrs. Pulnik tells Rill she must behave or else she and her siblings will be... (full context)
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...house, Rill starts thinking about Camellia and how Rill is supposed to tell her about Gabion. Rill dreads the anger Camellia will feel towards her, but nonetheless, as soon as Mrs.... (full context)
Chapter 16
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...her not to tell anyone. To herself, Rill notes that it’s been four days since Gabion left with the couple and since Camellia was taken away, which means Lark and Fern... (full context)
Chapter 19
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...the names of her parents (Queenie and Briny) and her siblings (Camellia, Lark, Fern, and Gabion). Avery is mesmerized by the tragic story of how the family was broken up in... (full context)
Chapter 21
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
...tell her about some discoveries he made while digging around trying to find May’s brother, Gabion. Avery is surprised that Trent has taken such an interest in May’s story, but in... (full context)
Chapter 24
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Rill has a dream that she, Lark, Fern, Gabion, Camellia, Queenie, Zede, and Silas are all together on the shanty boat heading down the... (full context)