The Pink Bonnet
A Desperate Mother Searches for Her ChildStep into True Colors -- a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime Widowed in Memphis during 1932, Cecile Dowd is struggling to provide for her three-year-old daughter. Unwittingly trusting a neighbor puts little Millie Mae into the clutches of Georgia Tann, corrupt Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society director suspected of the disappearance of hundreds of children. With the help of a sympathetic lawyer, the search for Millie uncovers a deep level of corruption that threatens their very lives.  How far will a mother go to find out what happened to her child?  

The Pink Bonnet Details

TitleThe Pink Bonnet
Author
ReleaseJun 1st, 2019
PublisherBarbour Books
ISBN-139781643520452
Rating
GenreCrime, True Crime, Historical, Historical Fiction, Fiction

The Pink Bonnet Review

  • Valerity (Val)
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second in a series of historical romance/mystery books, with the first one I read being The White City. The Pink Bonnet is set in the time of The Depression 1932 and centers on a young widow Cecile and her three-year-old Millie Mae. Struggling to support them, Cecile leaves Millie with a neighbor while she looks for full-time employment, but when she returns to pick her up Millie is gone. She’s been taken to the Tennessee Children’s Home Society as some part of an adoption situation. This is the second in a series of historical romance/mystery books, with the first one I read being The White City. The Pink Bonnet is set in the time of The Depression 1932 and centers on a young widow Cecile and her three-year-old Millie Mae. Struggling to support them, Cecile leaves Millie with a neighbor while she looks for full-time employment, but when she returns to pick her up Millie is gone. She’s been taken to the Tennessee Children’s Home Society as some part of an adoption situation. When Cecile goes down to their office, she’s told she’s not a fit mother to raise her child, and that besides, she has already signed her rights away. Knowing this isn’t true, Cecile swears to get Millie back from them, no matter what it takes. Miss Tann tries to convince her that Millie is far better off, that she will be placed with a family that can provide the best of everything. Cecile, who has already lost her husband, screams at her that it’s her daughter and she’s not losing her too, and a mother’s love matters.This is a good story for those who like reading about historical American crime stories. Follow the story as Cecile fights an increasingly difficult and nasty battle to find and regain her daughter. This is in the mystery romance and the Christian categories, but it’s not that heavy on the religion angle. I don’t recall it even coming in until about nearly halfway, too. So if that bothers you, it’s not that overwhelming. I found it surprisingly enjoyable, and I don’t go out of my way for Christian books, I’m more of a true crime fan on its own. I was fine with it. It was worth it to learn about this Tann woman who was scamming people, along with a judge and a politician, who were all involved in helping Tann cover up the adoptions for selling children to the highest bidder for thousands of children back then. It was an outrage that should never have been allowed to happen, but many were corrupt back then, or willing to turn a blind eye. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Liz Tolsma, and the publisher.My BookZone blog:https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog20...
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  • Maureen Timerman
    January 1, 1970
    This book plays hard on your emotions, sadness, anger, and wanting revenge, and all because of what a powerful woman does to families and children. In her time in Tennessee she is suspected of stealing over 5000 children, and when I think of the loss to the parents, grandparents, siblings and extended family, so many hurting people, and all for greed.This is a fictional account, but it could be so true, and there are several real people named here, and they are all complacent and are fine with d This book plays hard on your emotions, sadness, anger, and wanting revenge, and all because of what a powerful woman does to families and children. In her time in Tennessee she is suspected of stealing over 5000 children, and when I think of the loss to the parents, grandparents, siblings and extended family, so many hurting people, and all for greed.This is a fictional account, but it could be so true, and there are several real people named here, and they are all complacent and are fine with doing the evil work with this woman, Georgia Tann.We put faces through the author of the what some of these people actually experienced, and it is so hard, you want to be able to help. The people we trust, i.e. the police and legal are not there to help, and this woman has so much power.You don’t want to miss this one, once I picked it up, I didn’t put it down until finished and that included the don’t miss author’s notes.I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Barbour, and was not required to give a positive review.
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  • Karen R
    January 1, 1970
    "...there was nothing like a mother’s love, other than God’s love for His own children. Fierce. Determined. Protective."Memphis, Tennessee in 1933 was a dangerous place for young children, especially those from poor families. This well-written tale based on the true crimes of Georgia Tann and her Tennessee Children's Home Society was heart wrenching, yet not without hope. The determination of Cecile to find her missing daughter was amazing. I like how the author parallels that to God's love for "...there was nothing like a mother’s love, other than God’s love for His own children. Fierce. Determined. Protective."Memphis, Tennessee in 1933 was a dangerous place for young children, especially those from poor families. This well-written tale based on the true crimes of Georgia Tann and her Tennessee Children's Home Society was heart wrenching, yet not without hope. The determination of Cecile to find her missing daughter was amazing. I like how the author parallels that to God's love for us. The action and suspense revved up in the last half with the desperate search for Millie and the truth of the wrongful adoptions from the shady agency. It had me reading faster to see how it would end! The choices people faced when confronted with the truth was telling of their hearts; they risked everything to right the wrongs done. It was complicated. Adoption always is complex, as the author points out, but at least today it is done very carefully. Interesting to think these crimes continued for so long. How very sad.Recommend to readers who enjoy stories with historical interest, plus a clean romance and faith. 4.5 stars(An ebook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.)
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  • Ann
    January 1, 1970
    This is an awesome book!! The author makes you feel like you are there. You can feel all of the emotions and see the scenes play out in your mind. Once you start reading, you can't put it down. If you are looking for book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, grab this book!! I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves christian historical fiction. Thank you Barbour Publishing via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. This is my honest opinion.
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  • Kivalina Gwynn
    January 1, 1970
    Cecile is a good Mom . She is doing her best with 3 year old Millie Mae . Husband has died and money is tight. She leaves her little girl with a old neighbor lady just for a short time to find a better paying job. This is the biggest mistake of her life. Along comes the Mean Miss Tann... You will need to read as I do now want to spoil it. I got this book for a honest review from Netgally. Honestly, I loved it. Honestly I been searching about this since .Oh what a sad thing..
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  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    REVIEWThe first thing that caught my interest about this book was the cover, the stark dark background, the homemade looking wooden rocking crib. The only colour on the cover being the pink bonnet which plays an important part in this story. I think the cover definitely does its job by pulling you in making you want to know where the child is and what has happened. The blurb then goes on catching and pulling you in more, which consequently pushes you into having a grave concern for the child who REVIEWThe first thing that caught my interest about this book was the cover, the stark dark background, the homemade looking wooden rocking crib. The only colour on the cover being the pink bonnet which plays an important part in this story. I think the cover definitely does its job by pulling you in making you want to know where the child is and what has happened. The blurb then goes on catching and pulling you in more, which consequently pushes you into having a grave concern for the child who the crib and bonnet belong too. This book is also based on a true story and I admit I have watched a film based on the true events that inspired this book.The main characters in this book are single mum Cecile Dowd, and her much loved three year old Millie Mae. Cecile’s husband sadly died and that means she is on her own looking after Millie Mae. Cecile’s family fell out with her over her choice of husband. Despite the fact he has now died and so no longer in her life they still return her letters unopened. Cecile has a part time job at a nursery but her savings and rapidly being used and her wages just aren’t enough for her and Millie to live on.Cecile has to look for other jobs but then that means asking for help taking care of Mille Mae whilst she attends the job interviews.Mrs Ward, her neighbour is a mixed blessing, she is a bit of adult company for Cecile and she will watch over Millie Mae whilst Cecile attends the job interviews, but she also has an opinion on everything and is nosey too. It is on one of these occasions that Mrs Ward is caring for Millie Mae that the old lady signs the three year old off to Miss Georgia Tann who runs the Tennessee Children’s Home. When Cecile returns home after her interview Mrs Ward reveals what she has done. Cecile cannot believe it and is naturally beside herself with a mixture of emotions. Cecile’s first thought is to get to the offices of Miss Georgia Tann and ask for Millie Mae back, but when she arrives the offices are closed.Cecile tries numerous ways to gain an audience with Miss Georgia Tann to ask, plead and then beg for Millie Mae back. Miss Tann’s attitude is that Millie Mae will be much better off adopted by a two parent family who have a better financial standing than Cecile. It seems lots of people agree with Miss Georgia Tann and seem willing to turn a blind eye to the methods she uses to gain access to these children that she then sells to new parents. Cecile of course refuses to give up on Millie, and after trying to learn more about Miss Georgia Tann realises she is not the only parent to have her child stolen and sold on!My favourite character within the whole book was of course Cecile, the way she continues to fight relentlessly to get her daughter back. Her persistence in seeing Georgia Tann. The way she eventually gains help from someone close to Miss Tann. Though Cecile is not rich in a monetary way she has overwhelming love for her daughter and that’s what keeps her going over the days, weeks etc it takes to find her daughter. I did also like the character of Percy Vance, who helps with all the legal paperwork needed to transfer the child from parent to orphanage and then to their new parents. It is Percy who uses his “inside” knowledge and his work acquaintance’s to trace the children Georgia Tann has literally ripped from their own biological parent to then sell to whomever she sees fit to sell them to. Percy Vance puts not only his job on the line but his life too! Miss Georgia Tann and her important friends are not eager to be found out and are not adverse to underhand tactics to get rid of anyone making a fuss about what they are up to.Even though I had seen a film based on Miss Georgia Tann and her exploits, this book was still fascinating and intriguing, yet horrifying and implausible at the same time. It also makes you ponder what goes on behind closed doors nowadays. For if this harsh practice of removing children from their biological parents and then re-homing them with “better off” parents with “better homes” could happen back in the thirties it could quite well be happening these days too!
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  • Nicole Cook
    January 1, 1970
    In The Pink Bonnet, author Liz Tolsma tells of the pain, heartache, and horrors that happened as young children were kidnapped from their often poor families by Tennessee Children’s Home Society’s director Georgia Tann and then adopted to “more suitable” families. The children were often mistreated in their new placement. With many important government officials in her back pocket, Tann was able to get away with this for more than 25 years. Tolsma tells a fictionalized version of true events tha In The Pink Bonnet, author Liz Tolsma tells of the pain, heartache, and horrors that happened as young children were kidnapped from their often poor families by Tennessee Children’s Home Society’s director Georgia Tann and then adopted to “more suitable” families. The children were often mistreated in their new placement. With many important government officials in her back pocket, Tann was able to get away with this for more than 25 years. Tolsma tells a fictionalized version of true events that happened in Tennessee during the 1930. She tells the story of widowed mother Cecile, who searches for her daughter Millie, who was signed over to Georgia Tann by a neighbor through forged signatures. Millie was then adopted to another family. Fans of Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate will thoroughly enjoy this story. As a parent of young children, it broke my heart to read about the heartaches these children and mothers faced and how this practice was able to go on so long without government officials stopping it. This is a well written story by Liz Tolsma and one that I would recommend. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing through NetGalley and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.
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  • Cheri Swalwell
    January 1, 1970
    I had read a book earlier this year about this same topic, this same woman, Ms. Georgia Tann, and it was wonderful. This book added more layers onto the book I originally read and was the “icing on the cake.” What a sad book; yet there was hope throughout as well. I love the characters; I loved the scenery and setting; I loved the storylines throughout and I loved how it made me feel as though I was right there. I highly recommend this book; although be prepared to have your heart ripped out thr I had read a book earlier this year about this same topic, this same woman, Ms. Georgia Tann, and it was wonderful. This book added more layers onto the book I originally read and was the “icing on the cake.” What a sad book; yet there was hope throughout as well. I love the characters; I loved the scenery and setting; I loved the storylines throughout and I loved how it made me feel as though I was right there. I highly recommend this book; although be prepared to have your heart ripped out throughout the pages as you feel what the characters are feeling as though you’re living it yourself. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions were strictly my own.
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  • Kylene
    January 1, 1970
    The beginning of this book didn't draw me in, but I kept reading, and ended up liking it. I found the supporting characters--R.D., Darcy, Gladys--and their personal growth much more interesting than the main characters. When the other points of view began, I wondered it they were necessary in such a short novel, but I thought they added a lot to the story. I enjoyed learning about a setting and events I didn't know much about, and I'm looking forward to the next book in series.
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  • Charlene
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book. It is full of historical facts and fiction. A time in our history when women lost their children to underground adoption The children were stolen and sold This story is of a woman who fought back and found her child after going through some heartbreaking situations. She has an unlikely ally who helps her find her little girl. This is a moving interesting heart wrenching story. I could not put this book down! I had to find out what was on the next page.
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  • Robin Dix
    January 1, 1970
    I almost decided not to keep reading it, the beginning want all that interesting. I'm glad I kept going! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it!! I was given a free copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
  • Leslie M.
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsReview to come.
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    The Pink Bonnet is part of the new series, True Colors, which is of historical stories of American crime. It tells the story about widow Cecile trying her best to take care of her daughter. To her horror, her daughter is taken away and given to the Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society. She joins forces with Percy to find out where her daughter has gone to. In doing so, they find themselves in some dangerous situations that put their lives at risk. Will they find her little girl before it is The Pink Bonnet is part of the new series, True Colors, which is of historical stories of American crime. It tells the story about widow Cecile trying her best to take care of her daughter. To her horror, her daughter is taken away and given to the Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society. She joins forces with Percy to find out where her daughter has gone to. In doing so, they find themselves in some dangerous situations that put their lives at risk. Will they find her little girl before it is too late? The Pink Bonnet has got to be among my top five books I have read this year to date. I cannot believe this is based on true events. It is hard to imagine the horror that parents had gone through when they lost their children and not knowing where they went to or ever seeing them again. How sad and tragic.I would give The Pink Bonnet one hundred stars. I highly, highly recommend this book. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
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  • Doris Vandruff
    January 1, 1970
    This is a story about child abduction. It is also about a mother's love and determination to find her daughter. A daughter that has illegally been kidnapped and adopted to the highest bidder. The intriguing part of the story is that there actually was a Tennessee Children's Home Society. This adoption agency was organized and run by the real person, Georgia Tann, in Memphis, Tennessee. She ran this agency from 1924 to 1950. An estimate of around 500 children were kidnapped and sold.Some of her c This is a story about child abduction. It is also about a mother's love and determination to find her daughter. A daughter that has illegally been kidnapped and adopted to the highest bidder. The intriguing part of the story is that there actually was a Tennessee Children's Home Society. This adoption agency was organized and run by the real person, Georgia Tann, in Memphis, Tennessee. She ran this agency from 1924 to 1950. An estimate of around 500 children were kidnapped and sold.Some of her clients were, Joan Crawford, June Allyson and Dick Powell. Involved in this horrible enterprise were a Judge and a politician. These people helped her move the adoption process along with fake signatures.Adoption is a wonderful thing. It brings children to parents and can make happy families. This story is remarkable in melding a heartwarming story with true facts.
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  • M.
    January 1, 1970
    It was a good read.
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