Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours

by

Lisa Wingate

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A homeless teenager whom Old Zede takes care of. Silas is told to look after the Foss children while their parents and Zede are at the hospital. However, Silas is outnumbered when police board the boat with the intention of taking the children away. Even though the police tell Silas that they are bringing Rill and her siblings to their parents, Silas doesn’t believe it. He only agrees to leave the kids after Rill asks to him to. Later, Silas helps discover the whereabouts of Rill and her siblings. When he learns about Ida Murphy and Georgia Tann’s orphanage, he spends weeks watching the yard hoping to see them. When he finally sees Rill, he tries to help her escape. However, she insists on staying one more day because she hears a rumor that her sister Fern is being returned by her adoptive parents and because she doesn’t want to leave Trent Turner Sr. (known as a Stevie) behind. Unfortunately, the next day Rill is abruptly brought to a hotel where Darren Sevier—the man who adopted Fern—pays for her and brings her home to comfort Fern, who has been distraught in Rill’s absence. When Rill and Fern escape and find their family’s shanty boat, Silas helps take care of them because Briny—who is now an alcoholic—cannot feed them. After the boat sinks and Briny seemingly disappears along with it, Silas reluctantly agrees to bring Rill back up the river to her adoptive family. He asks Rill to stay with him and get married but leaves Rill with the Seviers when he sees them warmly embrace her. Silas and Rill are never reunited.
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Silas Character Timeline in Before We Were Yours

The timeline below shows where the character Silas appears in Before We Were Yours. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
...opens the door and pulls a shawl around her, then sees that there is a teenage boy there, too. Zede lays a comforting hand on Rill’s shoulder and tells her that Queenie’s... (full context)
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
...says he must go back to the hospital to help Briny, but leaves the teenager, Silas, on the boat to help take care of the younger kids. Rill and Camellia don’t... (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.... (full context)
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
...boat. The man continues calling into the boat and tries to open the door until Silas appears and asks what the man—who appears to be a police officer—wants. Silas says the... (full context)
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Rill tells Silas to leave so she and her siblings can go see their parents. Rill asks the... (full context)
Chapter 14
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...hide the dirty clothes outside of their basement window, she thinks she sees Zede and Silas across the street. (full context)
Chapter 16
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...the bush until someone on the other side of the fence touches her arm: it’s Silas. He explains how Briny was tricked into signing surrender papers for all the kids. Silas... (full context)
Chapter 18
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...is dark and quiet as Rill slips out as quietly as she can to meet Silas at the fence. On the way, she worries that Briny and Queenie won’t want her... (full context)
Chapter 22
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...realizes something is wrong even though Fern shouts excitedly. The boat looks uncared for, and Silas runs out to greet them. However, he tells them that Queenie died and Briny “took... (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 river. When she wakes up,... (full context)
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Silas tells Rill to let Briny know that Zede is leaving in four days and if... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...Briny watching and calls to him, but the man turns away and leaves. Just then, Silas rows up and scoops Rill into his arms. Rill tells him about the boat but... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Silas tells Rill that Zede will bring the boat down and they can all live on... (full context)
Chapter 25
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...she stayed with the Seviers—May initially meant to hide in the bushes and return to Silas once the Seviers found Fern in their yard, but Hootsie saw them first and started... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Avery asks May if she ever saw Silas again; in her mind, Avery knows she’s asking about May’s first love story because she’s... (full context)