Across a Broken Shore

Across a Broken Shore

A Winter 2020 Junior Library Guild Selection.The last thing eighteen-year-old Wilhelmina “Willa” MacCarthy wants is to be a nun. It’s 1936, and as the only daughter amongst four sons, her Irish–Catholic family is counting on her to take her vows—but Willa’s found another calling. Each day she sneaks away to help Doctor Katherine Winston in her medical clinic in San...

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Title:Across a Broken Shore
Author:Amy Trueblood
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Across a Broken Shore Reviews

  • Lauren Stoolfire

    by Amy Trueblood is one of the best YA historical fiction novels I've had the opportunity to read this year. I was absolutely thrilled to have been approved for this on NetGalley since her debut novel was one of the best reads of last year. I think Ms. Trueblood is quickly becoming one of favorites. I loved following Willa as as she tries to navigate her family obligations while she also she begins to make

    by Amy Trueblood is one of the best YA historical fiction novels I've had the opportunity to read this year. I was absolutely thrilled to have been approved for this on NetGalley since her debut novel was one of the best reads of last year. I think Ms. Trueblood is quickly becoming one of favorites. I loved following Willa as as she tries to navigate her family obligations while she also she begins to make her own path in life and follow her heart. Her family expects her to become a nun, but she's been interested in medicine for ages. It will not be an easy path though she feels she's exactly where she's supposed to be as the apprentice to Dr. Katherine Winston. I love reading about this interwar time period, 1936 in this case, as well as women doctors during a time when that was very uncommon. As much as I enjoyed the setting and the subject matter, the characters really made the story work from mentorship of Willa and Dr. Winston, the family relationships, and the friendship between Willa and Cara. Overall, I can't recommend Amy Trueblood's sophomore novel highly enough. If you're looking for a historical novel with strong cast and vibrant setting, you will absolutely need to read

    . I can't wait to see what this author does next.

  • Jennifer

    Across a Broken Shoreby Amy Trueblood

    Read: 04/22-04/24

    Publication Date: November 5, 2019

    The last thing eighteen-year-old Wilhelmina “Willa” MacCarthy wants is to be a nun. It’s 1936, and as the only daughter amongst four sons, her Irish–Catholic family is counting on her to take her vows—but Willa’s found another calling. Each day she sneaks away to help Doctor Katherine Winston in her medical clinic in San Francisco’s Richmond District.

    Keeping secrets from her family only becomes more

    Across a Broken Shore by Amy Trueblood

    Read: 04/22-04/24

    Publication Date: November 5, 2019

    The last thing eighteen-year-old Wilhelmina “Willa” MacCarthy wants is to be a nun. It’s 1936, and as the only daughter amongst four sons, her Irish–Catholic family is counting on her to take her vows—but Willa’s found another calling. Each day she sneaks away to help Doctor Katherine Winston in her medical clinic in San Francisco’s Richmond District.

    Keeping secrets from her family only becomes more complicated when Willa agrees to help the doctor at a field hospital near the new bridge being built over the Golden Gate. Willa thinks she can handle her new chaotic life, but as she draws closer to a dashing young ironworker and risks grow at the bridge, she discovers that hiding from what she truly wants may be her biggest lie of all. 

    First off: Thank you to Net Galley for providing me with a e-book copy in exchange for my honest review!

    What I Liked:

    There was so much that I enjoyed about this book but I'll start with the general concept overall. I immediately fell in love with the historical fiction story of a young woman who is interested in the medical field. Set against the backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge and you have a wonderful story. Willa was a fantastic main character. Her struggle between her family obligations and her duties was very well done. Everyone at some point has felt that struggle, although maybe not as extreme as Willa's. I also loved that we got a female main character that was interested in the science field. Oftentimes I find with YA that the strong female characters have to be warriors, but this book challenged that concept by showing us a strong female character who chose to healing as her battle against the patriarchy.

    The plot kept me invested and I quickly found myself cheering for Willa. Her relationships with everyone in the book were an important aspect of that. Each one represented something different. Watching her interactions with Dr. Winston as she learned that her dreams of being a doctor were not impossible was truly inspiring. Sam was such a great love interest for her. I especially enjoyed watching her bond with Simon and Maeve.

    What I Didn't Like:

    There is one part of the ending that I didn't like but I am not going to say what it was and spoil the book for everyone. However, I will just say I don't quite feel that it was necessary for the plot but I guess I can see why the author chose to do it. I think I would have enjoyed the ending of the book even more if it hadn't happened though.

    I do also want to note that while I have a personal interest in the medical field and was not bothered there are a few scenes that are graphic due to the nature of the topics addressed in the story. They do not take away from the brilliance of this book.

    Overall, this was a fantastic historical fiction book that is inspiring for all young girls and women everywhere.

    Rating: 10/10

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    Instagram: @fromjensbookshelf

  • Meagan Dallner

    **Thank you to NetGalley and Flux for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

    I LOVED THIS BOOK!

    Willa's story is set in 1930's San Francisco during the building of the golden gate bridge. The cast of characters was absolutely wonderful. Willa, being the only girl in her family (besides Mam) with a bunch of over protective brothers, has made promises to her family. Unfortunately, promises made when you are 12 years old in the midst of grief are hard to hold as our

    **Thank you to NetGalley and Flux for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

    I LOVED THIS BOOK!

    Willa's story is set in 1930's San Francisco during the building of the golden gate bridge. The cast of characters was absolutely wonderful. Willa, being the only girl in her family (besides Mam) with a bunch of over protective brothers, has made promises to her family. Unfortunately, promises made when you are 12 years old in the midst of grief are hard to hold as our hands and hearts grow. On this journey, we follow Willa as she toils with her promise, her passion, and her family.

    I adored the historical details woven seamlessly into the novel and I highly respect any novel that can teach me something without me realizing it. Watching the bridge being built by the boys in this book, made me feel as though as I saw it. I loved getting to see all the injuries and personalities from the guys on the bridge. And Sam (excuse me while I swoon) was the perfect romantic interest. He grounded the book with his common sense and maturity, which was a nice balance to Willa and her emotional journey

    The story moved with a steady pace and around 60% of the way through, I thought I knew exactly what was going to happen and how. I WAS WRONG and I loved being wrong. Trueblood turned the story on its head and I was there for it. I flew through the last pages and felt utterly satisfied with the end.

    The characters Willa, Dr. Winston, Sam, and Paddy were my favorites. I loved their interactions and the dynamic between everyone was full of tension, though I did occasionally want to beam a few of them on the head. Usually Willa. I liked that most of the conflict in the story arose from the characters instead of events. It made for a great read with room for all the historical details.

    I would absolutely recommend picking up this book if you like YA historicals with interesting background and fun stubborn female characters.

  • Alyssa

    Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced reader's copy of Across a Broken Shore by Amy Trueblood in exchange for an honest review.

    Across a Broken Shore was a very special book. It's a coming of age story set in the heart of San Francisco during the Great Depression. It follows the story of Wilhelmina, the only daughter in her Irish-Catholic family. Her family wants her to become a nun, but Willa's heart is somewhere else. She wants to become a doctor. Sneaking away to help Doctor Katherine Winston

    Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced reader's copy of Across a Broken Shore by Amy Trueblood in exchange for an honest review.

    Across a Broken Shore was a very special book. It's a coming of age story set in the heart of San Francisco during the Great Depression. It follows the story of Wilhelmina, the only daughter in her Irish-Catholic family. Her family wants her to become a nun, but Willa's heart is somewhere else. She wants to become a doctor. Sneaking away to help Doctor Katherine Winston in her medical clinic in becomes a secret to her parents. This becomes more complicated than Willa thought. I won't say too much more because I would not want to give away much of the plot details! She also meets someone special along the way!

    I can say though, that this was a beautifully written novel. Willa was such a great character to read about and an inspiration - she is strong, independent, and brave. I really enjoyed the historical elements of this story and it felt it brought the time period alive on the pages. I read this book very quickly because it was way too hard to put down. I wanted to find out what would happen next in Willa's world. I loved the dynamics between Willa's brothers and her family. This story is about family, love, determination, and following your heart in life. The premise and setting were all very unique and definitely felt like a fresh story, not like anything else I've read before.

    A great historical, coming-of age read! I would most definitely recommend this book. :)

  • Martina Primerano

    *Thank you to NetGalley and Flux for providing me with an advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

    I’m so glad I requested this book from NetGalley and had the chance to read an early copy!

    I loved it, such a fast-paced and engrossing story with relatable characters I deeply cared about, heartwarming family dynamics and the sweetest kind of romance.

    It developed important themes such as questions of faith, loyalty, responsibility -both towards the others and ourselves-

    *Thank you to NetGalley and Flux for providing me with an advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

    I’m so glad I requested this book from NetGalley and had the chance to read an early copy!

    I loved it, such a fast-paced and engrossing story with relatable characters I deeply cared about, heartwarming family dynamics and the sweetest kind of romance.

    It developed important themes such as questions of faith, loyalty, responsibility -both towards the others and ourselves- and coming of age in a unique and original setting - the building of San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge In 1936.

    The protagonist, Willa, is the youngest and only daughter in an Irish-American family of five children, and is expected to enter the convent soon, as she promised to maintain a family tradition, although this is the last thing she wants.

    Her dream is to study medicine, and the fortuitous encounter with a lady doctor, headstrong Katherine Winston, brings her closer to fulfilling it than she ever thought.

    Willa is a great character, with a deep respect and strong affection for her family, in spite of all the limitations imposed by her strict parents and overprotective, ever intruding brothers - with the exception of Paddy, who is always on her side and helps her all along.

    I would have hit her on the head a couple of times, when she refused to change her mind about her promise out of a sense of guilt, trying to repress her real vocation and love for Sam, the adorable ironworker who works on the Bridge and steals her breath away, but the ending was perfect, so I forgive her for her almost devastating stubbornness.

    I loved her relationship with her brothers - it took them some time to finally listen and understand her, but their love for her was evident all along and they were all darlings in the end.

    Her parents are good characters too, but I literally bristled at the injustice of the expectations they forced on her - their impatience for sending her off to the convent as soon as possible and their selfish reasons for it were almost unbearable.

    Even keeping in mind the historical period and the beliefs of the time, I just couldn’t believe how easily so many parents sent their daughters off to the convent, just because it was a honorable and safe life, refusing to listen and even taking into consideration their real ambitions and dreams.

    I hated it, but it was also terribly realistic.

    The author’s documentation is commendable and she wrote a great piece of historical fiction, which I recommend to anyone who wants to read a good book with an engaging story and a lovely atmosphere.

    I highly enjoyed this novel and it surely won’t be my last by Amy Trueblood - I’m already looking forward to her next!

  • Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance

    Set in 1936 San Francisco, it tells the story of an 18-year-old young lady that wishes nothing more than to become a physician and do well in her community. At a time when few women are practicing medicine, it is an inconceivable notion by outside forces.

    Wilhelmina “Willa” MacCarthy lives with her brothers and parents above the bar that her family runs. The

    Set in 1936 San Francisco, it tells the story of an 18-year-old young lady that wishes nothing more than to become a physician and do well in her community. At a time when few women are practicing medicine, it is an inconceivable notion by outside forces.

    Wilhelmina “Willa” MacCarthy lives with her brothers and parents above the bar that her family runs. The MacCarthys, Irish, have immigrated to the area like so many others and are fortunate to have an apartment and work at a time when so many immigrants are fairing very badly financially.

    Each one of the siblings has a path for the future somewhat laid out for them but there's enough wiggle room for the boys. Willa, on the other hand, has been destined by her strongly devout catholic parents to go to the convent and become a nun. This is a very big deal to all of them, as Willa is their a gift to the church.

    Cara is Willa's best friend, and she is the only one that knows how Willa really feels about going to the convent. Though it is a very noble and honorable duty, it is not what Willa feels in her heart. Secretly, she has been getting medical texts from the library through her friend and which she hides under her floorboards because her parents would never allow the notion of it. Willa is fascinated by everything she learns and as it turns out, she may not be the only one who wishes for a different future than their parents.

    Through happenstance, an accident at the bar involves one of Willa's brothers and she has to take him to the nearest doctor. This is where Willa meets Doctor Katherine Winston who has just taken over a local practice. The two of them hit it off very quickly. Dr. Winston recognizes that Willa has a gift for medical care and offers her to come along and assist her with patients.

    Torn between her family's wishes and her desires, she is lying to her family every day to make it to the practice and help assist the sick. Soon, Dr. Winston is taking her along to the medical station by the Golden Gate Bridge construction site to help with more serious injuries. A job that garners her respect and confirms her abilities.

    The Golden Gate Bridge in its build boasts a myriad of dangers to the workers. Due to the bad economy at the time, many families are in need, devoid of work and income, especially the immigrated ones seeking to live the dream they've come for. Every day, men stand by he fences waiting to be picked to work at the bridge and those working on the bridge could lose their job in an instant. The conditions are very unstable and the workers' dispensable ratio is already calculated into the cost of the construction by the financiers. Around that same area, homeless have sought out shelter in tents till better times. This plays a great part in the novel and Willa's determination. But her path is neither given or earned unless more obstacles have overcome.

    Willa's family carries a heavy burden and it is laid upon her shoulders to bear. This puts her into an impossible wedge only a sacrifice can free.

    ***

    This is the second novel I read by Amy Trueblood, Nothing But Sky being the other. Both novels tell the story of a young female heroine coming of age and creating a path of her own. I enjoyed both of those novels though they are only similar in that they tell of American icons as part of the novel either forgotten or taken for granted. Both books hone in on a particular period/theme not many (if any) young adult novels have been written about and become an indispensable part of the plot.

    Across a Broken Shore has been written with heart and sensibility. The characters are vulnerable and portrayed at face value. The story reads inspirational and tender creating all the feels about family ties, love and determination. It actually had me well up at a point and that sais a lot.

    I do enjoy a varied mix of genres and books, historical fiction being part of it. This mixes up the pace and themes for each book I pick up, keeping it interesting. There are times I seek action and there are times I like to read something like this book, sweet and heartfelt. The reason I mention this is because the book is so full of "goodness", it could potentially not be the right one for someone who wants a loud book full of action. For the time of 1936 and a story of an Irish / Catholic immigrant family, I think the novel and characters are on par. There is a lot of angst, firsts and talking about faith in the novel.

    With that, for me, a little goodness every now and then is ok to balance all else ;)

    Happy Reading!

    More of my reviews here:

  • Karren  Sandercock

    Thanks to NetGalley, North Star Editions and Amy Trueblood for my copy of her new book: A Cross A Broken Shore.

    America is struggling during the great depression, in San Francisco the Golden Gate Bridge is being built, every morning men line up hoping to be given a job and be able to earn enough money to feed their families.

    Willa MacCarthy family owns a Irish pub, she has four older brothers, Paddy, Nick, Sean and Michael.

    The pub only provides enough work for her dad, her brother Paddy and her

    Thanks to NetGalley, North Star Editions and Amy Trueblood for my copy of her new book: A Cross A Broken Shore.

    America is struggling during the great depression, in San Francisco the Golden Gate Bridge is being built, every morning men line up hoping to be given a job and be able to earn enough money to feed their families.

    Willa MacCarthy family owns a Irish pub, she has four older brothers, Paddy, Nick, Sean and Michael.

    The pub only provides enough work for her dad, her brother Paddy and her two other brothers are looking for a job.

    Willa's parents have on wish, that's for her to join the church and become a nun. She's smothered by her family, her life revolves around church and her families expectations of her.

    Willa has doubts about becoming a nun, she has been secretly reading medical books and hiding them from her mother.

    By chance she meets the new lady doctor, her name is Dr Katherine Winston, she starts helping her at her clinic and lies to her mam telling her she's helping at the soup kitchen.

    Willa finds it very confronting working at the clinic, her families struggles are minor compared to the terrible poverty and suffering she witnesses while helping Dr Winston.

    Willa finds a purpose, she's smart enough, and she dreams about becoming a doctor. But will she go against what her parents have planned for her future, is she strong enough to stand up to them and tell them what she really wants to do? Willa also meets a young man called Sam Butler, by joining the church she has to accept that she will never marry and have children.

    While reading Across A Broken Shore, you realize how much prejudice there was at the time towards female doctors, how difficult is was for women who wanted to go to university, how much control families had over their adult daughters lives, how hard it was for them to go against their families wishes and follow their own dreams.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book, opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and I gave the book 4 stars.

    I have shared my review on Goodreads, Twitter, NetGalley and my blog.

  • Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨

    This was one of those books that I didn't really have any expectations for before starting it. But I am so happy that I did because this was a treat! A strong, character driven historical fiction novel with a grand historical backdrop! This was my first Trueblood novel but it will not be my last.

    : I don't usually read historical novels set in the USA (I am a eurocentric European, sadly) so it was really nice to get

    This was one of those books that I didn't really have any expectations for before starting it. But I am so happy that I did because this was a treat! A strong, character driven historical fiction novel with a grand historical backdrop! This was my first Trueblood novel but it will not be my last.

    : I don't usually read historical novels set in the USA (I am a eurocentric European, sadly) so it was really nice to get out of my comfort zone for once. And the Depression era was new for me too, but I felt that it was handled really, really well. It was nitty gritty and I could almost feel the despair.

    : I absolutely loved that Willa (the female MC) was into medicine and science. That is so unusual and strongly needed! More women need to be inspired to follow a career in the sciences! Willa was a great inspiration.

    : I not only liked her dedication to science and medicine, I liked Willa - period. Yes, sometimes she infuriated me so much! But I also admired her, felt for her and felt with her. She has a duality to her character, strong and independent on the one hand and vulnerable on the other. It was this duality that stirred my emotions and made her a great lead.

    : This has a lot to do with the character driven aspect of the book. The book revolves around Willa's internal struggle, having to choose between doing what she herself wants and what her parents want for her. That is the plot - Willa's struggle. Which also means that it, sometimes, got a bit circular. She went back and forth a lot. I found myself needing something more. It got a little old...

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  • Erin

    1930's San Francisco: Willa McCarthy is the youngest of five children and the only girl in a loving Irish-American family. Although Willa loves to pour over medical textbooks, it is the convent that she is bound for in less than six months. A long ago promise that she made to her parents. But when one of her brothers needs medical attention, a chance meeting with a female physician will have Willa wondering " do

    1930's San Francisco: Willa McCarthy is the youngest of five children and the only girl in a loving Irish-American family. Although Willa loves to pour over medical textbooks, it is the convent that she is bound for in less than six months. A long ago promise that she made to her parents. But when one of her brothers needs medical attention, a chance meeting with a female physician will have Willa wondering " do I follow my family's dream or my own?"

    Oh I just really enjoyed this story and once again settled in for an all together enjoyable read. I appreciate it when the author ensures that we(the readers) see the situation from all points of view. As the storyline unfolds, I knew that Willa was going to be faced with a big decision because there was no surprise that she was naturally talented as she learns from DR. Katherine. But she definitely doesn't want to disappoint her parents and I could totally relate to that feeling.

    In addition, I liked how the building of San Francisco 's Golden Gate bridge was also part of this novel. Amy Trueblood paints a picture well of the feats and perils that the workers encountered during construction.

    Don't let this one slip by you!

    Goodreads review published 22/09/19

    Publication Date 05/11/19

  • Amy

    9/2019

    Hello all! Just a "heads up" that there is a preorder campaign going on right now for AABS! If you preorder, or make a library request, AABS swag will be sent your way!

    More details go here:

    3/12/19

    Update:

    Across a Broken Shore is now available for request on NetGalley!!

    2/12/19

    I’m very excited to share Willa and her beloved San Francisco with the world on November 5th!

    A few notes about ACROSS A BROKEN SHORE

    - Setting: 1936 San Francisco

    - Medicine plays

    9/2019

    Hello all! Just a "heads up" that there is a preorder campaign going on right now for AABS! If you preorder, or make a library request, AABS swag will be sent your way!

    More details go here:

    3/12/19

    Update:

    Across a Broken Shore is now available for request on NetGalley!!

    2/12/19

    I’m very excited to share Willa and her beloved San Francisco with the world on November 5th!

    A few notes about ACROSS A BROKEN SHORE

    - Setting: 1936 San Francisco

    - Medicine plays a big role in this book

    - Real life historical characters make appearances

    - Details of the building of the Golden Gate Bridge are woven into the story

    This book may be for you if you like:

    - Headstrong women

    - Girls trying to find their place in the world

    - First love & kissing (!!!)

    - Meddlesome, yet loving, brothers

    - The push and pull between family obligation and personal fulfillment

    Note: This book does contain darker content due to some graphic medical scenes and topics.

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