Before I Was Yours

‘A future classic’
Clare Mackintosh, author of I Let You Go, on What Milo Saw

Sam and Rosie Keep have always wanted children of their own but life hasn’t worked out that way for them. The only option available to them now is adoption: they’ll do anything to have a child to love.

Seven-year-old Jonah is far away from home and his mama promised he’d be looked after in England. But the man who’s meant to be taking care of him has disappeared and now Jonah’s all alone.

When Sam and Rosie meet Jonah, they’re certain they’ve found their son, and open their home and their hearts to him. Finally, their family is complete.

And then the unthinkable happens and life changes for all three members of the Keep family. Suddenly Sam and Rosie must answer an impossible question: how far are they willing to go for a child who isn’t really theirs?

Macgregor really knows how to pull at the heartstrings. At first I was a little irritated with Rosie because she had this all or nothing insanity about her that seemed to border on a selfish obsession but then I realized as someone who has never been in her position it was really unfair to judge what someone like her would do so I tried to read from a more sympathetic stance. That goes to a lot of Macgregor’s writing though that she so deeply examines the emotional spectrum of what someone who desperately wants a child feels and what they’re willing to do (within legal and moral reasons) to obtain one.

I liked how she tried to capture the culture and settings in Africa as I felt like I was walking on the beach with them at one point. You could just tell she wanted to give honor and respect to how this story started and one of the worst plagues that affects so many over there.

As a parent I felt myself get deeply pulled into the story as I began to put myself in her shoes and cheer Rosie on as she found that Mama Bear strength to want to protect her ‘cub’ at all costs. She became this amazing hero as she tapped this incredibly deep reservoir of love and selflessness for an innocent child.

When Macgregor threw a couple of more twists at the end I felt myself holding my breath hoping that she would PLEASE give these poor people a happy ending after everything they had to endure.

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Thank you to Netgalley and Little Brown Book Group UK for allowing me to review this book.

*synopsis and pic from

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