Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours

by

Lisa Wingate

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Before We Were Yours can help.
The grandson of Trent Turner Sr., whom Rill Foss cares for in the orphanage. After the death of his grandfather, Trent takes over the family real estate business on Edisto Island, where Judy Stafford also has a cottage. Avery Stafford finds the phone number of Trent Turner’s real estate office in Edisto while looking through Judy Stafford’s papers and calls, hoping it will give her a clue about her grandmother’s past. Trent tells Avery that he has a packet of papers from his grandfather for Judy, but refuses to give them to Avery because of a promise he made his grandfather. After Avery shows up at his office, however, Trent relents and the two open the packet of papers together. In it are files about the birth and adoption of a newborn boy named Shad Arthur Foss through the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. Trent then brings Avery to his grandfather’s office, which is full of paperwork, pictures, and files pertaining to the Tennessee Children’s Home Society and the children who were trafficked through it by Georgia Tann. Trent joins Avery on her quest to learn what her family’s connection is to Shad Foss and Georgia Tann. Together, they discover that Avery’s grandmother and Trent’s grandfather were both kidnapped and abused by Tann and her employees. Furthermore, they learn that Judy Stafford has a living biological sister, May Crandall (born Rill Foss), who took care of Trent’s grandfather (whom she knew as Stevie) during their time together in the orphanage. As adults, Rill and Trent’s grandfather reconnected and then discovered the whereabouts of Rill’s other sisters, Lark (renamed Bonnie) and Judy. Rill and Fern were adopted by the same people, but they are never able to find their other siblings, Shad, Gabion, and Camellia. Armed with this discovery, Trent and Avery work together to bring Rill and Judy—the last surviving sisters, both of whom are living in senior care facilities—back together to enjoy whatever time they have left together. During this process, Trent and Avery begin a romantic relationship. Trent is also a single father to a toddler son named Jonah.

Trent Turner III Quotes in Before We Were Yours

The Before We Were Yours quotes below are all either spoken by Trent Turner III or refer to Trent Turner III. 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 11 Quotes

“I’m sure you’re used to getting what you want.”

His insinuation burns. I’ve been fighting it all my life—the idea that my only qualifications are a cute blond head and the Stafford name. Now, with the speculation heating up about my political future, I’m incredibly sick of hearing it. The family name didn’t get me through Columbia Law School with honors.

Related Characters: Avery Judith Stafford (speaker), Trent Turner III (speaker)
Page Number: 118
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
Chapter 17 Quotes

I come from a world where we would never openly admit to such things, certainly not to someone who’s practically a stranger. In the world I know, a polished exterior and an unblemished reputation are paramount. Trent makes me wonder if I’ve become too accustomed to the constraints that go with upholding public appearances.

Related Characters: Avery Judith Stafford (speaker), Trent Turner III, Jonah
Page Number: 194
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“The truth always comes out sooner or later. I’m of the belief that you’re better off knowing about it first.” But even as I say it, I wonder. My entire life, I’ve been so certain that we were above reproach. That our family was an open book. Maybe that was naïve of me. What if, after all these years, I’ve been wrong?

[…] Do we carry the guilt from the sins of past generations? If so, can we bear the weight of that burden?

Related Characters: Avery Judith Stafford (speaker), Trent Turner III
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire Before We Were Yours LitChart as a printable PDF.
Before we were yours.pdf.medium

Trent Turner III Character Timeline in Before We Were Yours

The timeline below shows where the character Trent Turner III appears in Before We Were Yours. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Avery’s phone rings, interrupting her thoughts—it’s Trent, returning her call. Avery confusedly asks if Judy was selling the cottage and Trent explains... (full context)
Chapter 11
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Two weeks have passed since Avery talked to Trent Turner on the phone. She is driving down to Edisto Island to see him in... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Avery has also been researching Trent Turner. She’s learned that he’s actually Trent Turner III and the real estate business Trent... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
...popcorn machine and goes to get some because she’s very hungry, but before she can, Trent comes in. Avery thinks he is attractive and charismatic. Avery tells him that she called... (full context)
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Trent again tries to explain that he made a promise to his grandfather and says it’s... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
After a while, Trent states that Avery must be used to getting what she wants. Avery is hurt by... (full context)
Chapter 13
Family Secrets Theme Icon
...diagnosed with dementia. Avery hangs up the phone and thinks about the conversation. She decides Trent Turner might not be holding blackmail, but she is still suspicious that there’s a dark... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Avery tosses around theories about what the papers Trent Turner has for Judy might be while she gets ready to take a shower. Just... (full context)
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Avery realizes that the papers the younger Trent has probably shed more light on Judy’s interest in the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. Even... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
As Avery is walking to Trent’s, Elliot calls to tell her about a conversation he had with Bitsy—she’s anxious to have... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Avery walks up to the back porch of Trent’s cottage and he opens the door before she can knock. Avery apologizes for calling him... (full context)
Chapter 15
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
The folder Trent gives Avery is thin, so she knows there aren’t many papers in it. She wants... (full context)
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
The little boy, Jonah, tells Trent that he had a nightmare about a dinosaur in his closet. Trent tries to soothe... (full context)
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Avery asks Trent if there are other packets. Trent looks guilty but admits that his grandfather kept a... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Avery asks Trent if he can show her the other files, which are in a separate building on... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
While Avery walks back, she’s conscious of Trent watching her. Suddenly, her phone buzzes again and she sees it’s one of her friends... (full context)
Chapter 17
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Avery enjoys her free time on the beach but begins to worry that Trent has changed his mind about showing her the other files later in the day. Avery... (full context)
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Trent leads Avery up the path to his grandfather’s former office. Trent becomes somber as they... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...had anything to do with Tann’s crimes. Specifically, Avery worries that Judy was working with Trent’s grandfather to “right the family wrongs.” (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Trent asks Avery if she’s sure she wants to go through more files. Avery tells him... (full context)
Family Secrets Theme Icon
...Judy and all of them are wearing dragonfly bracelets. Avery reaches for the photo and Trent helps her get it. When he takes out the thumbtack, a smaller photo falls to... (full context)
Chapter 19
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
...home—Avery got Ian to call ahead to make sure May is out of the hospital—with Trent following her in his own car. Avery feels a little like a kid skipping school... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Trent greets her at the curb, and they joke around about Avery’s driving. Avery likes Trent... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
...will tell her, but May gruffly says that it has nothing to do with Avery. Trent makes a noise outside and May tells him to come in. Avery says Trent is... (full context)
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
May looks intently at Trent and asks what his last name is. When Trent tells her, May says Trent has... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Trent asks May if his grandfather was adopted from the TCHS and she tells him he... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Trent tells Avery they should leave but Avery pleads with May to tell her if her... (full context)
Family Secrets Theme Icon
...that she’s sorry for what May had to go through as a child. May tells Trent and Avery they should let her sleep before the nurses get her for physical therapy... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Trent tells Avery that the revelations May made about his grandfather make him wonder what his... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Trent says Avery’s name, calling her out of her thoughts. She asks him what he was... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Trent tells Avery that he should get back to Edisto. As they say goodbye, Avery hears... (full context)
Chapter 21
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
...what Elliot said about Judy and decides he’s not the one to call. Just then Trent calls her—they haven’t spoken since they went to see May together because Avery thought it’d... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Trent tells Avery that he’s in Aiken and invites her to lunch so he can tell... (full context)
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Trent texts Avery to let her know that he and Jonah are waiting for her. Avery... (full context)
Chapter 23
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Trent and Avery stare at the ruins of what was once a large plantation and wonder... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Avery, Trent, and Jonah follow the path until it comes out into a well-maintained yard surrounding a... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
A dog starts barking right outside of the screened-in porch so Trent hurries to take care of Jonah. A man on an ancient tractor pulls up by... (full context)
Chapter 25
Personal Identity Theme Icon
...mind, Avery knows she’s asking about May’s first love story because she’s been thinking about Trent—who is waiting in the hallway nearby—more and more lately. May looks intently at Avery and... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...for the day. May starts getting ready before Avery can tell her where they’re going. Trent meets them in the hall, and they head out to his car and take off.... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...May is horrified that she’s about to meet Wells because she’s not dressed up, but Trent persuades her to go into the cottage before Honeybee sees her. As soon as Honeybee... (full context)
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
...that she kind of is, because she spent so much time living two different lives. Trent asks Avery to walk outside with him and she agrees, knowing that he’s anxious to... (full context)
Chapter 26
Personal Identity Theme Icon
Family Secrets Theme Icon
Injustice and Class Divisions Theme Icon
Child Trafficking, Heritage, and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...walking in the garden and says they look sweet. May tells her it’s Avery and Trent so Judy waves to them. Judy and May giggle together when the couple disappears behind... (full context)