The Story behind The Pink Bonnet
Between 1924 and 1950, Georgia Tann is reported to have stolen as many as 5000 children and sold them to the highest bidder. She was known to case the streets of Memphis in her black Cadillac looking for suitable children and snatching them from playgrounds or the sidewalk. She and Judge Camille Kelley and others in the corrupt system in the city cranked out these illegal adoptions, some even to well-known Hollywood stars like Joan Crawford and June Allyson.
Barbour Publishing’s acquisitions editor, Becky Germany, came up with the original idea for the series, True Colors Crimes. These are all true historical crimes that the various authors have taken and fictionalized. As an adoptive mother myself, it was a little scary to write a book about illegal adoptions. I did my best to show that no matter what side of the adoption triangle you are on – adoptee, birth parent, or adoptive parent – there is always hurt and sorrow that is a part of that life. There are good adoptions, and there are bad adoptions.
What Georgia Tann did to those children (several hundred are still unaccounted for and are believed to have died in her care) is appalling. Black market adoptions still happen today and must be stopped. And Georgia never paid for her crimes. I think that’s the worst part of all. They were beginning an investigation into her practices in 1950 when she died of ovarian cancer.
Though a difficult subject to write about and to read, it’s an important one, nonetheless, one I hope I’ve tackled with a degree of faith and hope.
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?
Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a U.S. Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her blog, The Story behind the Story, at www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), and Pinterest. She is also a regular contributor to the Midwest Almanac blog