books, reviews

Book Review: The Trials of Adeline Turner – Angela Terry

From Charming Falls Apart author Angela Terry comes a story about finding the courage to face your past, be true to your heart, and live your best life. Fans of Sophie Kinsella and Emily Giffin will enjoy cheering for Adeline Turner as she navigates the twists and turns of her newly complicated life in this fun, heartwarming novel.

Thirty-three-year-old corporate attorney Adeline Turner has built her adult life around stability. Her professional life is thriving, but her personal life . . . not so much. Deep down she wants more, but finds it’s easier to brush aside her dreams and hide behind her billable hours. That is, until a new client and a chance encounter with her high school crush have her taking leaps she never planned. Suddenly, unadventurous, nose-to-the-grindstone Adeline finds herself moving across the country from her predictable life in Chicago to San Francisco, falling into messy romantic situations, and trying to unravel an office-sabotage plot before it ruins her career.

Without the safety net of her old life in Chicago, Adeline must become her own advocate and learn that people aren’t always who they seem. Which makes her wonder if the key to having the future she desires lies in uncovering the truth of the past.

Angela Terry is an attorney who formerly practiced intellectual property law at large firms in Chicago and San Francisco. She is also a Chicago Marathon legacy runner and races to raise money for PAWS Chicago—the Midwest’s largest no-kill shelter. She resides in San Francisco with her husband and two cats and enjoys throwing novel-themed dinner parties for her women’s fiction book club. Her debut novel, Charming Falls Apart, is a 2021 Independent Press Awards Winner, 2021 IPBA Benjamin Franklin Awards Finalist, and 2020 Best Book Awards Finalist.

Connect with Terry at www.angelaterry.com, @AngelaTerryAuthor on Facebook and Instagram, and @AngelaTerryLit on Twitter.

Q & A with Angela Terry

Question: Who do you think is the ideal reader for The Trials of Adeline Turner?

Angela Terry: Generally, this book is for anyone who enjoys voice-driven, contemporary escapist women’s fiction. Specifically, this book is for someone who may be like Adeline, where they might have a successful career, but want more in their personal life. And, of course, this book is for anyone who still thinks about their first crush and wonders, “What if?” (although, sometimes the dream is better than the reality!). 

Question: You’re a big fan of “chick lit” what are your feelings about that name for the niche of fun and flirty women’s voices?
Angela Terry: The first “chick-lit” book I read was Bridget Jones’s Diary, and it introduced me (and a generation) to books about women who were going through similar issues as I was in my twenties and thirties. I was navigating and balancing my career, dating, family and friends, and asking the question of, “What do I want my life to look like?”. These books were usually told in a light, entertaining, first-person voice, and the characters felt real to me. So, while I know the term has fallen out of favor over the years, it still has a soft spot in my heart.

My books have been called rom-com, chick lit, and women’s fiction. I personally consider my books to be women’s fiction, since they focus more on the emotional growth of my heroine towards a more fulfilled self. But I also love a good happily-ever-after. So, if my novel is hanging out on the rom-com table, I’m happy with that because I just want readers to be able to discover my books. 

Question: What books and authors inspired you?

Angela Terry: The first chick-lit book I read was Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding, and from there I was hooked on these lighter tone, voice-driven, confessional type of stories. From there, I read Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series, and I absolutely loved, and still love, Jane Green’s novels, which have evolved from early chick lit to women’s fiction. 

Emily Giffin’s books though finally gave me that push to start writing my own books. When returning home from a vacation, I had picked up Something Blue at the airport and devoured it in one sitting. I love how honest and complicated her characters are, and how effortless her writing style seems. When I turned the book over to read her biography, which read, “After practicing litigation at a Manhattan firm for several years, she moved to London to write full time…”, it struck me that hers was the first “attorney bio” I read where I thought, “I want to do that!” That was the moment I decided to commit to my writing. 

Question: What is your favorite place to read? 

Angela Terry: My favorite place to read would be my sofa with my cats. But where I get the most reading done would be at airports and on airplanes. I’m terrified of flying, and so I will save up books to read for my flight to have something to look forward to. Now I can’t wait to get to the airport and will be at my gate two hours early to catch up on my reading. 

Question: How has the pandemic affected your reading (and writing) habits? 

Angela Terry: In the beginning of the pandemic, I found it hard to concentrate on reading and writing. But thanks to my book club and being introduced to the Bookstagram community, I managed to get back my reading mojo. Though I will say, I found myself reaching for lighter, uplifting reads during this time. 

The pandemic also affected my writing. Normally, whenever I get stuck on a scene, I like to go for a walk or head to a coffee shop. Seeing people on the street and eavesdropping on conversations always gives me new inspiration. With shelter-in-place, I found myself watching television a lot more to study people’s expressions, as well as voice inflections and cadence for dialogue purposes. 


My thoughts: I was sent this book by a lovely PR and I’m really glad about that because I really liked Adeline, she’s super smart and good at her job, a good friend and has a great relationship with her dad. Her other relationships are a bit messy – she’s single at 33, estranged from her mum and just ran into her teenage crush at the airport.

She’s also about to get offered a great career boosting move, but is going to have to make new friends and be much nearer to her mother than she’s comfortable with. But perhaps there’s opportunity here to improve more than her career? And that’s where the story really starts, with Adeline swapping Chicago for San Francisco, and a whole new set of adventures.

I loved her best friend Bridget, she’s hilarious and very much a take no prisoners person – totally forthright and determined that Adeline finds love and happiness. Her dad was super sweet, and his romance with the neighbour was really cute. I like that she finally decided to try to reach out to her mum, I can’t imagine not having mine around, we’re really close.

Adeline’s path to true love is messy and she makes mistakes, trusts the wrong people and, well, that’s life. It was so honest and realistic, I could easily see Adeline as one of my friends, I think we’d get on. I really rooted for her and cheered her on.

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