Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours

by

Lisa Wingate

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Dragonfly Bracelets Symbol Analysis

Dragonfly Bracelets Symbol Icon

The dragonfly bracelets that Judy Stafford, Rill Foss, Fern Foss, and Lark Foss all wear symbolizes their common heritage and shared identity as Queenie and Briny’s children. The dragonfly bracelets contain three dragonflies (one for each of the lost Foss children: Camellia, Gabion, and Shad) and represent the sisters’ connection to the Mississippi River. When Judy was diagnosed with dementia, she left her granddaughter, Avery, her bracelet with a note saying that the stones (garnet, sapphires, and onyx) represent love and remembrance. Because Judy, Rill, Fern, and Lark keep their relationship and personal histories a secret, wearing the dragonfly bracelets is how they keep each other close when they can’t physically be together. The bracelets provide a constant reminder of where they come from and all of the hardships that the sisters have had to overcome in their lives after Georgia Tann kidnapped, separated, and sold them. Notably, Judy leaves her bracelet to Avery, who is the only one of Judy’s grandchildren to have inherited the Foss family’s characteristic curly blond hair. In other words, because Avery looks like a Foss, Judy decides to give her a visible symbol of the secret connection between the Staffords and the Fosses. Although Avery doesn’t know it, whenever she wears the dragonfly bracelet, she is also keeping that heritage alive because of what the bracelet represents.

Dragonfly Bracelets Quotes in Before We Were Yours

The Before We Were Yours quotes below all refer to the symbol of Dragonfly Bracelets. 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 1 Quotes

I’m wearing one of her favorite pieces of jewelry this morning. I’m dimly aware of it on my wrist as I slide out the limo door. I pretend I’ve selected the dragonfly bracelet in her honor, but really it’s there as a silent reminder that Stafford women do what must be done, even when they don’t want to.

Related Characters: Avery Judith Stafford (speaker), Judy Myers Stafford
Related Symbols: Dragonfly Bracelets
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
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Dragonfly Bracelets Symbol Timeline in Before We Were Yours

The timeline below shows where the symbol Dragonfly Bracelets appears in Before We Were Yours. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Thinking about Judy prompts Avery to think of the dragonfly bracelet she’s wearing. It used to be Judy’s and Avery is wearing it as a reminder... (full context)
Chapter 3
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
...home they visited earlier called to say that a resident there was found holding Avery’s dragonfly bracelet . Avery realizes May must have taken the bracelet when she grabbed Avery’s arm earlier.... (full context)
Chapter 5
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
...the nursing home. Avery walks into the nursing home director’s office and sees her grandmother’s dragonfly bracelet sitting on the desk. Avery and the director talk for a bit and the director... (full context)
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
...of how May wound up in the facility. May points out that Avery has her dragonfly bracelet . Avery tries to explain that it is her grandmother’s and asks if May ever... (full context)
Chapter 9
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
...name May Crandall is familiar. Avery explains that May was the woman who took the dragonfly bracelet Judy gave her. Honeybee writes this off, saying May might have seen Judy wearing it... (full context)
Family Secrets Theme Icon
...always very organized, and everything is carefully labelled with details of its origins, including the dragonfly bracelet that she gave Avery (which Judy got in 1966). Avery realizes she has no idea... (full context)
Chapter 11
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
...blackmail. Furthermore, Avery learned from an entry in one of Judy’s appointment books that the dragonfly bracelet has something to do with Edisto, although it’s unclear what the connection is. Avery wonders... (full context)
Chapter 17
Family Secrets Theme Icon
...blond women on the beach—one of them is Judy and all of them are wearing dragonfly bracelet s. Avery reaches for the photo and Trent helps her get it. When he takes... (full context)
Chapter 25
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
...and Lark passed away, but then they chatter happily about the day they got the dragonfly bracelet s. Honeybee demands an answer from Avery again, so Avery walks them out to the... (full context)