Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours

by

Lisa Wingate

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One of Rill Foss’s younger sisters. Lark is about six when she and her siblings are kidnapped by Georgia Tann and put up for adoption through the notorious Tennessee Children’s Home Society. Tann uses the TCHS to traffic kidnapped children, taking them from poor families and selling them to rich. Lark is a very sensitive child and is closest to her older sister, Camellia Foss. After being kidnapped, Lark is renamed Bonnie Weathers and is quickly adopted by a wealthy family and thus separated from her sisters and brother. As an adult, Lark is reunited with Rill, Fern Foss, and the sister they believed was stillborn, Judy Stafford. The four remain close for the rest of their lives. Lark dies of cancer about five years before the present-day events of the story.

Lark Foss/Bonnie Weathers Quotes in Before We Were Yours

The Before We Were Yours quotes below are all either spoken by Lark Foss/Bonnie Weathers or refer to Lark Foss/Bonnie 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?”

Chapter 23 Quotes

I think of the way May explained their choices: We were young women with lives and husbands and children by the time we were brought together again. We chose not to interfere with one another. It was enough for each of us to know that the others were well

But the truth is, it wasn’t enough. Even the ramparts of reputation, and ambition, and social position couldn’t erase the love of sisters, their bond with one another. Suddenly, the barriers that created their need for hidden lives and secret meeting places seem almost as cruel as those of brokered adoptions, altered paperwork, and forced separations.

Page Number: 298
Explanation and Analysis:
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Before We Were Yours PDF

Lark Foss/Bonnie Weathers Character Timeline in Before We Were Yours

The timeline below shows where the character Lark Foss/Bonnie Weathers appears in Before We Were Yours. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
...twins after giving birth to their first five children so easily. Rill brings Fern to Lark (who’s six) and tells Camellia (who’s ten) to watch them. Camellia doesn’t like this but... (full context)
Chapter 4
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
...the shanty porch while Rill and her siblings watch her moan and scream in pain. Lark tries to distance herself, but Fern and Gabion creep closer to see—Queenie looks and sounds... (full context)
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...a chunk of cornpone and 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... (full context)
Chapter 6
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
...something and indicates that Rill and Camellia need to be quiet. Suddenly frightened, Rill pushes Lark and Fern into the shanty and then grabs Gabion and Camellia, who gets mad at... (full context)
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...out of a 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... (full context)
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...him Gabby. Tann tells her not to answer questions unless she’s asked and then pulls Lark to her side. Rill looks at the other two terrified kids and then at Camellia,... (full context)
Chapter 8
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...and Stevie. Tann 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... (full context)
Chapter 12
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...doesn’t have 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... (full context)
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...through the doors. Inside, couples 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.... (full context)
Chapter 14
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
While Rill, Lark, and Fern sit in the car waiting, Rill tries to convince herself that Tann was... (full context)
Chapter 16
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Miss Dodd unlocks the basement door and cheerfully greets Rill, Lark, and Fern. Miss Dodd is a new worker and is nicer than the others, so... (full context)
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...boy who’s twisting Stevie’s arm and starts walking away with them. Suddenly Rill realizes that Lark is missing. She asks Fern where Lark is, and Stevie tells her a lady has... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
That night Fern is inconsolable and begs to see Lark. Rill loses patience with Fern and threatens to spank her, which terrifies Fern. Suddenly, Rill... (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
...Avery, starting with 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... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...May’s sisters. May looks closely at the photo and says the picture is of herself, Lark, Fern, and Judy at Edisto Island. Avery asks if that’s where May met Judy. To... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...Trent and tells him that his grandfather helped reunite her and Fern with their sister Lark. Lark and Fern, however, have since died and their families don’t know about the past.... (full context)
Chapter 23
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
...notices an envelope with May’s name, but Avery zeroes in on a painting of May, Lark, Fern, and Judy over the fireplace. Trent points out that there are more photos of... (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... (full context)
Chapter 25
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
...exclamation and hurries over to hug her. May has to remind Judy that Fern and Lark passed away, but then they chatter happily about the day they got the dragonfly bracelets.... (full context)