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Across a Broken Shore

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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 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 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.


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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 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 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.

30 review for Across a Broken Shore

  1. 5 out of 5

    Maja - BibliophiliaDK ✨

    DEFINITELY NOT MY LAST BOOK BY THIS AUTHOR 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. THE THINGS I LIKED Historical setting: I don't usually read historical novels set in the USA (I am a eurocentric European, sadly) so it was really nice to get DEFINITELY NOT MY LAST BOOK BY THIS AUTHOR 😊 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. 👍 THE THINGS I LIKED 👍 Historical setting: 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. Science and medicine: 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. Willa: 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. 👎 THE THINGS I DISLIKED 👎 Circular plot: 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... ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Follow me for more book goodness: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

  2. 5 out of 5

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

    This historical fiction novel is one to cozy up with. It envelops the reader with warmth and home feels in a slow and savory way. 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 This historical fiction novel is one to cozy up with. It envelops the reader with warmth and home feels in a slow and savory way. 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. That, however, could become detrimental and break her family apart and shatter every bit of hope she has left. *** 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! Many Thanks to the Publisher. I received a digital copy of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. More of my reviews here: https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/

  3. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Thanks to Netgalley and Flux for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. 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 Thanks to Netgalley and Flux for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. 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

  4. 4 out of 5

    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. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    Across a Broken Shore is a YA historical fiction set in 1930's San Francisco. Against the backdrop of construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, we follow an Irish Catholic young woman whose parents want her to become a nun while she dreams of becoming a physician. When her brother injures his hand, she meets the new female doctor who offers her a job as her assistant. Willa accepts, but must hide what she is doing from her family. This explores the complicated nature of family expectations and Across a Broken Shore is a YA historical fiction set in 1930's San Francisco. Against the backdrop of construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, we follow an Irish Catholic young woman whose parents want her to become a nun while she dreams of becoming a physician. When her brother injures his hand, she meets the new female doctor who offers her a job as her assistant. Willa accepts, but must hide what she is doing from her family. This explores the complicated nature of family expectations and finding your own sense of purpose, and also how meaning and spirituality can be found in things like serving people in need through medicine, not just in traditional church roles. It also explores sticky issues of morality like safe abortions versus women harming themselves due to unplanned pregnancy, suggesting that providing care may be worth the risk. (remember that in this time period, abortion was illegal across the board). The book attempts to offer a nuanced approach to such issues. While the dialogue in the early part of the book is sometimes a bit clunky with over-insertion of historical facts, this ultimately won me over by the end and I was really rooting for Willa to stand up for herself, pursue her dreams, and maybe fall in love. This is a moving and inspiring story based partly on the life of the first women to graduate from medical school and become practicing physicians. The later portion of the book becomes more emotionally compelling, and you will probably learn a few things along the way. There is also a sub-plot involving Willa trying to care for a family living illegally in a tent camp and her strong feelings about offering medical services to those who are unable to pay for them. Overall, I really liked this book and think it is worth picking up if the topics interest you. I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own. CW: Do be aware that this book contains graphic depictions of practicing medicine in emergency conditions, including blood, broken bones, birth, miscarriage, and even death. There is also a scene involving care for a girl who attempted an abortion herself with a knitting needle and has perforated an organ. Additionally, there is an alcoholic character, scenes of fighting and peril, scenes with police rounding up homeless and separating families, and attempted sexual harassment.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Across a Broken Shore 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 I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Across a Broken Shore 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 Across a Broken Shore. I can't wait to see what this author does next.

  7. 4 out of 5

    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 Facebook: From Jen's Bookshelf Instagram: @fromjensbookshelf

  8. 5 out of 5

    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!

  9. 4 out of 5

    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: https://amytruebloodauthor.com/fall-f... 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: https://amytruebloodauthor.com/fall-f... 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.

  10. 5 out of 5

    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.

  11. 4 out of 5

    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. :)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Doris Vandruff

    Wilhelmina has a burning desire within her to become a doctor. She reads and studies Greys Anatomy fervently, absorbing all she learns. She knows that it is just a dream. For many generations the woman of the MacCarthy family have become nuns at the Catholic convent. She knows that to choose anything else would devastate her parents. Of course there is that solemn promise she made when she was twelve. The day she accidentally pushed her mom. Her mom was eight months pregnant with her sister. The Wilhelmina has a burning desire within her to become a doctor. She reads and studies Greys Anatomy fervently, absorbing all she learns. She knows that it is just a dream. For many generations the woman of the MacCarthy family have become nuns at the Catholic convent. She knows that to choose anything else would devastate her parents. Of course there is that solemn promise she made when she was twelve. The day she accidentally pushed her mom. Her mom was eight months pregnant with her sister. The shove sent her mother down the stairs where she suffered a miscarriage. Her love for medicine is just a dream. She will enter a convent. When her brother Paddy severs two fingers and her and her brother Nick take him to the local doctor, she is thrilled to meet Dr. Winston. Dr. Katherine Winston. She may not recognize it yet, but Willa's life is about to change. Placed in the year 1936, the story takes place during the building of the Golden Gate Bridge. It is a historical time. It is also a time that very few women were doctors. Less than 5% were in university. Great story, with some awesome history. Strong characters. Excellent!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Set in the Great Depression in San Francisco, Willa McCarthy grows up watching the building of the golden gate bridge in the shadow of her four older brothers and a tragic family secret. Living with a strict Irish Catholic she is the ever dutiful and obedient daughter who will promise her life to the church to fulfill a family tradition. That is until she stumbles upon another caree path that leaves her questioning her beliefs, values and own desires. Will Willa risk losing her family and Set in the Great Depression in San Francisco, Willa McCarthy grows up watching the building of the golden gate bridge in the shadow of her four older brothers and a tragic family secret. Living with a strict Irish Catholic she is the ever dutiful and obedient daughter who will promise her life to the church to fulfill a family tradition. That is until she stumbles upon another caree path that leaves her questioning her beliefs, values and own desires. Will Willa risk losing her family and everything she has ever known to follow her possible true calling? Sweet easy feel good reading that sheds light on just how recent women were not seen as equals or capable of making their choices. I enjoyed this quick read with well developed characters, bits of history and a satisfying ending. Thanks #netgalley for allowing me to read this book. Pub date November 2019

  14. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Stumpf

    LOVED this book! Trueblood wrote beautifully about a young woman struggling to make a difficult life decision: follow her heart and her passion or do what is expected of her by her parents. Willa, is such an interesting main character. She’s strong, open-minded, intelligent, and loyal even when she lacks self-confidence, she’s always working towards bettering herself. Willa longs to work in the medical field, but in the 1930s, women do not make up a large percentage of doctors in the field. LOVED this book! Trueblood wrote beautifully about a young woman struggling to make a difficult life decision: follow her heart and her passion or do what is expected of her by her parents. Willa, is such an interesting main character. She’s strong, open-minded, intelligent, and loyal even when she lacks self-confidence, she’s always working towards bettering herself. Willa longs to work in the medical field, but in the 1930s, women do not make up a large percentage of doctors in the field. Despite this, she sneaks reading anatomy texts and ends up apprenticing with a female doctor, who is another inspiring and beautiful character in this story. Set in San Francisco while the Golden Gate Bridge is being constructed, Willa finds herself able to help others who need medical attention due to accidents working on the bridge. She also finds herself falling for a certain light-eyed, kind young man, Sam. Her and Sam’s relationship blooms despite her promise to her parents to join the convent and become a nun. Willa is conflicted many times throughout the story, either study medicine or become a nun. I enjoyed reading her struggles to make this difficult decision and the relationships she forms along the way. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, Flux, for the ARC for an honest review. 5 stars!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anichols407

    Everything about this story made my heart happy. It showcases a strong female character who we see grow as the story continues. She is one of the most real characters I have read in a while. She has moments of great confidence and others of grave mistakes. The whole time I found myself rooting for her. Many people struggle when their desire for their own future differs from the people who love you and it all blended naturally in this story. I greatly enjoyed the story as well. It was a Everything about this story made my heart happy. It showcases a strong female character who we see grow as the story continues. She is one of the most real characters I have read in a while. She has moments of great confidence and others of grave mistakes. The whole time I found myself rooting for her. Many people struggle when their desire for their own future differs from the people who love you and it all blended naturally in this story. I greatly enjoyed the story as well. It was a delightful insight into historical San Francisco and the rise of female empowerment. Taking real people and real fears and real incidents and attaching emotional value while still staying true to a fictional narrative is not an easy thing to do. I’m certain this book will be winning awards.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    ARC received in exchange for an honest review. Very few things are perfect but this book? It might just be. This book was so incredibly special. The research and love that Amy clearly poured into this book is obvious. It is unmeasurable how wonderful this book was. I was completely swept up by the events of this story. Everything was so vivid. I feel like this book called on all five senses in the most extreme ways. I could see the bridge taking shape, I could hear the hollers of the workers, I ARC received in exchange for an honest review. Very few things are perfect but this book? It might just be. This book was so incredibly special. The research and love that Amy clearly poured into this book is obvious. It is unmeasurable how wonderful this book was. I was completely swept up by the events of this story. Everything was so vivid. I feel like this book called on all five senses in the most extreme ways. I could see the bridge taking shape, I could hear the hollers of the workers, I could smell the sea air. I felt like I could feel the rain and wind on my skin. I could practically taste the rosemary beef prepared for Christmas lunch. This book was such an immersive experience. I’ve enjoyed books. I’ve loved books. But the absolute joy and sorrow I experience reading Amy’s books doesn’t happen very often. I feel very privileged that I get to read books as special as this. Nothing But Sky was my favourite read last year and easily became one of my all time favourite books. Without a doubt Across A Broken Shore just joined it. When I find a new favourite author I’m certain that I’ll read whatever they publish so I don’t always take stock of what the next book will be about. I knew this book was set in the 1930’s. I knew the Golden Gate Bridge would be there. I knew Willa was going to be strong and daring and challenge expectations but I didn’t realise how difficult it was going to be for her to be exactly who she was supposed to be. This book really was all the feels. My heart soared and I stood on the side lines and cheered for Willa. My heart absolutely plummeted and I wanted to rush in hug all her broken pieces back together. Or maybe I needed someone to do that for me? I don’t know. I’m not even a hugging person. I sobbed and I sobbed and I’d do it all again because I’ve just finished and I already want to read about Willa and Sam and her family all over again. How is it possible that this book made my heart feel lighter and heavier all at once? It’s always difficult to leave behind the characters of a wonderful book but it was especially difficult knowing that I live in 2019 and Willa lived in the 1930’s. I would love nothing more than to sit on a porch with Willa, drinking tea and listening to her stories!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy Schwab

    It’s 1936 and Willa MacCarthy is certain she has no options. She’s known since she was 12 that she would become a postulate at the Convent of the Sisters of the Sacred Spirit and take her vows. The only girl in this Irish Catholic family, her Mam & Da and four protective brothers expect her to become a nun. San Francisco is coming back to life as the building of the Golden Gate Bridge is bringing the citizens hope with so many construction jobs. Even though dangerous, the lure of steady It’s 1936 and Willa MacCarthy is certain she has no options. She’s known since she was 12 that she would become a postulate at the Convent of the Sisters of the Sacred Spirit and take her vows. The only girl in this Irish Catholic family, her Mam & Da and four protective brothers expect her to become a nun. San Francisco is coming back to life as the building of the Golden Gate Bridge is bringing the citizens hope with so many construction jobs. Even though dangerous, the lure of steady paychecks is worth the risks involved. The MacCarthy boys are willing to wait to be chosen to work on the bridge, while Willa, now 18, secretly reads Grey’s Anatomy in her bedroom and attends parties with her somehow wealthy high school friend, Cara Reilly. Willa and her brothers face the same decisions as youth do today: respect parental expectations or follow your calling? Willa’s chance meeting of Dr. Katherine Winston certainly seems to acknowledge the peace she finds when “doctoring,’ as opposed to the deep fear that envelops her in the pew at church. Finding her voice, coping with guilt, confession & forgiveness and allowing for failures to become achievement, are just some of the issues dealt with by Willa and her family. Mam & Da’s life long dream of having her enter the Convent of the Sisters of the Sacred Spirit has a profound impact on Willa. Dr. Katherine Winston, who mentors and encourages Willa, Sam Butler, whose transient life Willa changes, and the struggling Cleery family at the Hooverville camp, all play important roles in Wilhelmina MacCarthy’s decision to take her vows and enter the convent or follow her heart to become a doctor. Willa’s dilemma of choosing between honoring her parents and the women of her past by entering the convent or following her call to be a doctor, the “hand of God in the world,” will keep you “praying and hoping” until the final page.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Across a Broken Shore by Amy Trueblood is a wonderful novel written in the voice of a young 18 year old woman named Willa (Wilhelmina) MacCarthy. Here is a historical nonfiction book set in San Francisco in the 1930s during the time of the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. It is also a coming of age novel where Willa trying to find her future and calling and the struggle between what she “should do” based on what her parents want for her, and what her heart calls out for her to do. The Across a Broken Shore by Amy Trueblood is a wonderful novel written in the voice of a young 18 year old woman named Willa (Wilhelmina) MacCarthy. Here is a historical nonfiction book set in San Francisco in the 1930s during the time of the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. It is also a coming of age novel where Willa trying to find her future and calling and the struggle between what she “should do” based on what her parents want for her, and what her heart calls out for her to do. The internal struggle of deciding on her parents’ path of Willa joining the convent as a family tradition, or following her heart on this new-found discovery and journey into medicine at the encouragement of her new friends and her new mentor Dr. Katherine Winston, gives us a wonderful, heartfelt story that most of us can relate to in one way or another. Being a female practicing in medicine, I especially am drawn to Willa and her struggles. It even brought tears to my eyes at one point. This is a wonderful book and a treasure. This is a must read and I give it 5/5. Thank you NetGalley for this touching read and in return for this advanced read, I am submitting my voluntary and unbiased opinion and review. Thank you again.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey Eom

    Across a Broken Shore by Amy Trueblood is a coming of sage story set in San Francisco during the Great Depression. Willa, a strong-minded girl who bores guilt for past mistakes has turned 18 and will soon become a nun because it’s family tradition. Then she meets Doctor Winston, a female doctor who has recently moved and taken over the town practice. Many shun this doctor because of her gender, but Willa admires her and decides to apprentice with her. After taking care of many patients and Across a Broken Shore by Amy Trueblood is a coming of sage story set in San Francisco during the Great Depression. Willa, a strong-minded girl who bores guilt for past mistakes has turned 18 and will soon become a nun because it’s family tradition. Then she meets Doctor Winston, a female doctor who has recently moved and taken over the town practice. Many shun this doctor because of her gender, but Willa admires her and decides to apprentice with her. After taking care of many patients and meeting Sam, Willa has a tough choice to make. Will she stand her ground and risk her family’s love to become a doctor or will she join the convent because of a past mistake that she still feels like she owes to her parents and God? This book was amazing! I was hooked from the beginning because of Willa and her brothers, but her determination and dreams had me vested in her future. I rooted for her throughout the whole book. While this book was on the short side, it was an amazing read. The underlying theme was never give up and always stand your ground even when it might upset someone else because you are responsible for your own happiness. Thank you to NetGalley and North Star Editions for this ARC.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

    *Arc received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* In this story we follow Willa who comes from and Irish Catholic family and has already been promised to the church to become a Nun. However, Willa had discovered a love of medicine. She is given the opportunity to practice medicine when her brother severally cuts his fingers and requires stitches. The doctor they take him to end up being Dr. Katherine Winston, a female doctor, who offers Willa an apprenticeship. She agrees and hides *Arc received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* In this story we follow Willa who comes from and Irish Catholic family and has already been promised to the church to become a Nun. However, Willa had discovered a love of medicine. She is given the opportunity to practice medicine when her brother severally cuts his fingers and requires stitches. The doctor they take him to end up being Dr. Katherine Winston, a female doctor, who offers Willa an apprenticeship. She agrees and hides the fact that she is working from her family. I absolutely loved this novel. I loved the setting of it taking place during the building of the Golden Gate Bridge, I loved seeing the way women we treaded in the medical field at that time, I loved seeing the way people lived during the depression era, and I loved the sweet romance that developed thought out this story. The ending of this story broke my heart but I loved it even more for it. I would very much recommend this book to anyone who is interested in historical fiction.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    I don't know what to say. This book was beautiful and awe-inspiring. With the main theme of reaching for your dreams and the expectations of others, this book will resonate with many. The characters! They were amazing and developed extremely well. Their emotions come across on the page and so do their hopes and dreams. I normally don't mention plot as much, but this one was very interesting. Across a Broken Shore is set during the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. Another major part of the I don't know what to say. This book was beautiful and awe-inspiring. With the main theme of reaching for your dreams and the expectations of others, this book will resonate with many. The characters! They were amazing and developed extremely well. Their emotions come across on the page and so do their hopes and dreams. I normally don't mention plot as much, but this one was very interesting. Across a Broken Shore is set during the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. Another major part of the story is the introduction of women physicians. They and their struggles were portrayed very well. Trigger warning: this is a book about medicine and some parts get a bit bloody. Nothing is graphic, but situations are described. (I would also recommend you to go read Amy Trueblood's debut novel, Nothing but Sky.) Rating; 5 Stars Content: 2 Stars *I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    1930s San Francisco comes alive in Amy Trueblood’s historical YA, ACROSS A BROKEN SHORE. I was lucky enough to read an early version of this book and in addition to the main plot revolving around Willa and her desire to become a doctor in a male-dominated field, I felt like I learned so much about this time period and the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge in particular. Willa’s story is all about following her passion, and what that could cost her. I loved Willa’s tenacity, her ensemble of 1930s San Francisco comes alive in Amy Trueblood’s historical YA, ACROSS A BROKEN SHORE. I was lucky enough to read an early version of this book and in addition to the main plot revolving around Willa and her desire to become a doctor in a male-dominated field, I felt like I learned so much about this time period and the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge in particular. Willa’s story is all about following her passion, and what that could cost her. I loved Willa’s tenacity, her ensemble of larger-than-life brothers, the world she finds through her friendship with mentor, Dr. Katherine Winston, and the love story had quite a few swoony moments as well. ;) ACROSS A BROKEN SHORE is classified as YA, but I can also envision it being a hit for Adult readers as well!

  23. 5 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Teralyn Mitchell When I read the synopsis of Across a Broken Shore, I knew it was the kind of book I would enjoy and I was happy to accept it. I was not disappointed at all. This book was filled with so much depth, feelings, and heavy subjects that I was not expecting. This book gave me all the feels and I connected with Willa from the first pages. It was unfortunate how her parents and older brothers—except Paddy—dictated her life and how she Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Teralyn Mitchell When I read the synopsis of Across a Broken Shore, I knew it was the kind of book I would enjoy and I was happy to accept it. I was not disappointed at all. This book was filled with so much depth, feelings, and heavy subjects that I was not expecting. This book gave me all the feels and I connected with Willa from the first pages. It was unfortunate how her parents and older brothers—except Paddy—dictated her life and how she had been dealing with guilt for years over an accident that caused a tragedy she never meant to happen. Her family was grieving and no one knew how to deal with it. Willa’s determination to study medicine despite not having any support from her family and it wasn’t a profession women normally went into, was admirable. She was torn between duty and her wants. Seeing that struggle was what gave this book the complexity and Trueblood did an amazing job of showing it. Willa was a strong female character who had become the obedient daughter since an accident some years prior to the book starting. It’s clear that Willa doesn’t have a strong relationship with her parents or any of her brothers besides Paddy. She does what is expected of her and will go into the convent in five months despite her interest in medicine. The incident that changes the trajectory of Willa’s future, is when Paddy has an accident while working in the family bar. Nick, the eldest, and Willa are tasked with taking Paddy to a doctor since Willa’s twin brothers, Sean and Michael, are off on an errand and her father refuses to leave Willa in charge of the bar. They take him to see the doctor only to find out he retired and Doctor Katherine Winston is his replacement. Nick is shocked to see a woman who’s a doctor but Willa realises that their brother needs help and moves forward. She ends up being offered a job by Dr. Winston but is unsure about taking it. Willa has been reading medical books for a few years and because of her, Paddy did not lose too much blood. While talking with Willa, the doctor recognises Willa’s passion for the profession. Paddy is the one who eventually convinces Willa to take Dr. Winston up on her offer and he will help her figure out how to lie to their parents and other brothers. He realises it’s an opportunity for Willa to have hands on learning and he’s hoping she will go after what she wants. During this, Willa also meets a young ironworker named Sam who is a drifter living in a boarding house in her neighbourhood and working on The Golden Gate Bridge. She starts working for the doctor and is learning a lot from her but she feels guilty at having to lie to her family about her whereabouts all the time. She and the doctor are called to help at the field hospital onsite for The Golden Gate Bridge and she sees Sam again. Later, she sees Simon—the son of a pregnant woman who Willa helped Dr. Winston treat—again as well when she learns he’s been stealing from the nurses at the field hospital. This leads to her learning about the state of the homeless people in San Francisco and sparks her nurturing and caring nature. The story progresses from there with Willa learning so much from Dr. Winston and growing closer to Sam, Simon and his family. She’s constantly going back and forth with herself and with others about what she will choose to do. I don’t want to give away the major points of this story but know that it ripped me apart and had me crying my eyes out by the end. This was a well-written story about love, family, grief, guilt, and finding your way in the world. Willa was one of my favourite characters and her struggle became my struggle as I read Across a Broken Shore. It was clear she was trying to do what she thought was the right thing. She’s wracked with guilt and since no one has talked to her about it, she didn’t know how to get past it. I loved Sam. He was caring, sweet, and it was very clear that his feelings for Willa were immediate and real. He encouraged her and would never be the type of man to hold her back. I also liked Willa’s family. It was interesting how all of them were dealing with their grief the only way they knew how but by the end they had to deal with it together to move on. Dr. Winston was a strong female character who believed in Willa even when Willa could not believe in herself. She wanted to see the next generation of female doctors succeed and that’s why she took Willa under her wings. I loved Cara—Willa’s best friend—too because she was also a strong character who knew what she wanted out of life and went for it. Across a Broken Shore was a heartbreaking, beautiful, and timely story about a young woman having to decide between family expectations and her dreams. Trueblood did a magnificent job of showing the internal struggle Willa was going through and showing a strong, tight-knit family. I enjoyed that there was a backdrop of a love that did not overshadow the overall story. This was another favourite for me and it will stick with me for a long time.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sarah (Cover to Cover Reviews)

    I received an e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. "Across a Broken Shore" releases to the general public November 5th, 2019. SUMMARY 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 I received an e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. "Across a Broken Shore" releases to the general public November 5th, 2019.  SUMMARY 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. REVIEW This was another example of the classic "I requested this from NetGalley, not expecting anything, only to end up loving it" scenario. Across a Broken Shore was at times dark, depressing, and bleak, but it was undercut with hope and progress and familial bonds that no amount of suffering broke.  The book's selling point for me, at first glance, was Willa's interest in medicine. As a teenage girl interested in science, I love reading about girls my age who are also passionate about STEM fields, regardless of what they are. That works especially well for me in settings where the character has to face down and defeat prejudice to practice her profession of choice. There aren't many stories more empowering for me, a girl who loves science and deeply values education, than those of young women who overcome societal barriers to their education/ability to practice a profession. Thus, Willa's journey towards becoming a doctor in a world where female doctors were extremely rare was very inspiring for me. And the medical parts of the book were realistic and well-handled;  they were realistically gory at times, but never gratuitous. Any aspect of the book related to medicine got no complaints from me.  Nor did the characterization. Willa was a deeply-realized character, even if she had a rather irritating tendency towards indecision and her brain repeated itself a lot. And the supporting cast was equally strong - Willa's brother Paddy was an equally fleshed-out character, the MacCarthy siblings' relationships were explored in depth and quite touching, and SAM. I read some reviews saying the romance was cheesy - perhaps, but I do NOT care. I'm a sucker for cheesy romance, and Sam was a smol bean. It was adorable  and that's final. :) But perhaps my favorite part of this entire novel was its exploration of religion in Willa's life. Though she doesn't want to be a nun (and I can't blame her - I wouldn't either), Catholicism is a HUGE part of her life. As a religious person, I get what it's like to simultaneously rely on your faith and feel incredibly pressured by it/the expectations of fellow practitioners; I related to that part a lot, even though I've never exactly promised to be a nun. Thus, I was a bit apprehensive that this book's treatment of Willa's faith was going to be sort of toss-aside-y. I was pretty sure it was going to present Willa with a "something's got to give" scenario where she either had to become a nun or completely abandon her faith to become a doctor, but it didn't. Rather, Willa simply realizes that God is calling her to something other than the path her parents think she is on. I loved that, and was very pleasantly surprised that her continual adherence to her faith wasn't ridiculed as "blindly obeying her parents" or something (as a Christian teenager who has chosen to remain in the faith I was raised in after my parents stopped making me do so, I get "you need to think for yourself" a LOT, and expected Willa's experience to be the same). That was really well-done.  The main problem with this book was that Willa's internal conflict was hashed out so many times, and in such similar words, that it just felt tired. There were commas missing, and the dialogue was quite awkward. Those were about the only defects of this fantastic book.   RATING  Plot: 4.5/5 - compelling, and a storyline (both the girl-in-STEM aspect and the religious one) that is very close to my heart. No complaints there. The only issue I took with the plot, and the reason for the 4.5 and not a 5, was that, like, 65% of the conflict could have been avoided with proper communication, and some parts of it were unnecessarily repetitive.  Characters: 5/5 - I fell in love with nearly all of them. IDK, I just really love these crazy Irish kids.  Pacing: 4/5 - like I said, tends to repeat itself. A LOT. But not awful.  Content/Messages: 5/5 - great messages about overcoming obstacles and pursuing your true passions rather than letting others tell you what path to follow. The content is never vulgar or gratuitous, but as the story revolves around physicians who mostly serve the impoverished, it gets dark at times. The harshness of the circumstances might make it too much for younger readers, but given its contemplative nature, those too young to handle the content probably wouldn't like it much anyway. I'd peg this one for the older end of YA (16+) not because it's wildly inappropriate but because I can't see many 13/14-year-olds enjoying this.  Handling of Subject Matter: 4.5/5 - medicine, sexism in STEM fields, and Catholicism were all handled very appropriately, but for a Great Depression-era novel, there wasn't much of the setting evident in the story. The economic realities of the Depression could have been addressed more; there are no more than four impoverished characters in a novel set during a time when there was a ~30% unemployment rate. That was a little implausible in my mind.  Writing Style: 3/5. This was the weakest aspect of the book. There were a lot of commas missing (this is an ARC, I know, so that'll get fixed, but still) and the dialogue was really unrealistic at points. Not egregiously bad, though.  Overall: 4.33/5

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    Thank you to NetGalley for providing this e-arc in exchange for an honest review. Across a Broken Shore by Amy Trueblood was heartbreakingly, beautiful. “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 Thank you to NetGalley for providing this e-arc in exchange for an honest review. Across a Broken Shore by Amy Trueblood was heartbreakingly, beautiful. “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." Amy Trueblood has made history come alive in this breathtaking book. I truly felt transported to 1936 San Francisco; from the streets of the city to the construction site of the Golden Gate Bridge. Willa’s struggle between pleasing her parents by becoming a nun or pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor was extremely relatable. She quickly becomes a character that you absolutely love. Her character development in this book is what I wish all characters have. You see her find her strength, voice and fight for what she wants in every chapter. I smiled, gasped, cried and cheered the entire time I was reading this book. This book is what every historical fiction book should be like. It stayed true to the history all while painting a new perspective of these characters lives and dreams. I would recommend this book to any historical fiction fan.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kate Larkindale

    I really enjoyed this book about a young woman defying her family's expectations and pursuing a career in medicine instead of going to the convent to become a nun. Willa is a feisty heroine and the Depression-era setting is an interesting one, even if the desperation of that time doesn't always cut through. The building of the Golden Gate Bridge and the dangers the men faced on it are well researched and described, as is the prejudice women doctors experienced. At times I felt Willa's thoughts I really enjoyed this book about a young woman defying her family's expectations and pursuing a career in medicine instead of going to the convent to become a nun. Willa is a feisty heroine and the Depression-era setting is an interesting one, even if the desperation of that time doesn't always cut through. The building of the Golden Gate Bridge and the dangers the men faced on it are well researched and described, as is the prejudice women doctors experienced. At times I felt Willa's thoughts were repetitive and I got a little tired of hearing her bang on about how disappointed her family would be if she didn't go to the convent, and how she owed it to them because it was her fault her sister died before she had a chance to live. But that's actually realistic, because who doesn't go over painful things in one's head over and over again? As owners of a pub, Willa's family - large as it was - didn't not appear to be suffering as much from the depression as others, like the people living in the Hooverville camp near the beach. I felt the book could have delved more deeply into the hardships of the Depression; there was never any real sense of desperation from any of the characters, even those living in the camp whose circumstances were desperate. Perhaps Willa could see it, empathize with it, but not really understand it. Overall, I enjoyed this one and would recommend it to anyone who likes historical settings and female characters bucking the expectations of the time. Thanks to NetGalley for giving me the chance to read this one in advance.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gregandemy

    Thank you to the publisher and author for providing me with a digital ARC of this title via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. I am not familiar with this author and couldn't remember even what it was about when I started reading it. My attention was caught by the cover and the synopsis was interesting enough to request this title, but I forgot about it until given a copy. I am glad I had the chance to read it. I was immediately drawn into the story from the very first page. I found the Thank you to the publisher and author for providing me with a digital ARC of this title via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. I am not familiar with this author and couldn't remember even what it was about when I started reading it. My attention was caught by the cover and the synopsis was interesting enough to request this title, but I forgot about it until given a copy. I am glad I had the chance to read it. I was immediately drawn into the story from the very first page. I found the story of Willa, a young 18 year old girl in San Francisco raised from a young age to be a nun, to be so interesting. Early on in the story, we learn that Willa is questioning a life as a nun just as her parents are finalizing her entry into the convent. Willa has a strong interest in medicine and while helping aid her brother during an injury to his hand, she meets Katherine, a female doctor who invites Willa to return and work as her assistant. I loved the historical references woven in this novel around women in medicine, life in early San Francisco, and the building of the Golden Gate Bridge. Willa and her family were all interesting and likable characters that I enjoyed reading about. There is a lot of internal dialogue over her desire to follow her passion with medicine or joining the convent to please her parents and lessen the guilt she feels over her past. It sometimes felt a little redundant, but overall an enjoyable and likable story that I would recommend to others.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Love

    Across a Broken Shore is a wonderful historical fiction novel set in San Francisco in 1936. The building of the Golden Gate Bridge is a key event in this book. The main character Wilhelmina “Willa” MacCarthy loves all things medicine, however due to family obligations she is destined to become a nun. Over the course of the book, we watch Willa struggle with her choice to be a nun and her strong desire to learn about medicine. The book does feel repetitive at time due to this struggle. I enjoyed Across a Broken Shore is a wonderful historical fiction novel set in San Francisco in 1936. The building of the Golden Gate Bridge is a key event in this book. The main character Wilhelmina “Willa” MacCarthy loves all things medicine, however due to family obligations she is destined to become a nun. Over the course of the book, we watch Willa struggle with her choice to be a nun and her strong desire to learn about medicine. The book does feel repetitive at time due to this struggle. I enjoyed reading this book. It is very evident the amount of research the author did on the time period. I feel that this book will appeal more to adults than teen readers. I do think it is worth purchasing for our high school collection. However, it will need to be promoted and book talked strongly for the typical teen reader to want to choose this book. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. #netgalley

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maddielucy

    “Across A Broken Shore” is historical fiction set in San Francisco during the early 1930’s during construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. You will meet Willa, who’s torn between a guilty promise made to he family and her true desires for a fulfilling life. Willa is set to enter the convent and realized her parents’ dreams, but she longs for a different future. In a chance encounter she meets Dr. Katherine Winston, who opens her eyes and her heart to the possibility of a career in medicine. This “Across A Broken Shore” is historical fiction set in San Francisco during the early 1930’s during construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. You will meet Willa, who’s torn between a guilty promise made to he family and her true desires for a fulfilling life. Willa is set to enter the convent and realized her parents’ dreams, but she longs for a different future. In a chance encounter she meets Dr. Katherine Winston, who opens her eyes and her heart to the possibility of a career in medicine. This book touches on so many topics in such a masterful way — the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge and the men who risked their lives to build it — the prejudices and road blocks females faced in the early 1930’s, especially those wanting to be physicians — family responsibilities and limitations— the Great Depression and “Hoovervilles” where the less fortunate congregated — first love — and friendship. “Across A Broken Shore” is a touching novel filled with great characters and a piece of history that is sometimes overlooked. I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Historical Fiction with strong female characters. Disclaimer— I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Net Galley!! Release date: 11/5/19 #netgalley

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Willa MacCarthy fights an internal battle between her family’s expectation that she becomes a nun and her interest in becoming a doctor. The setting is 1936 in San Francisco during the building of the Golden Gate Bridge. Willa meets a woman doctor, Katherine Winston and starts working for her in secret from her family. She finds herself helping Dr. Winston at the clinic that handles accidents during the building of the bridge. She meets Sam Butler, an iron worker on the bridge and he assists her Willa MacCarthy fights an internal battle between her family’s expectation that she becomes a nun and her interest in becoming a doctor. The setting is 1936 in San Francisco during the building of the Golden Gate Bridge. Willa meets a woman doctor, Katherine Winston and starts working for her in secret from her family. She finds herself helping Dr. Winston at the clinic that handles accidents during the building of the bridge. She meets Sam Butler, an iron worker on the bridge and he assists her with attempts to help the homeless population as well as those injured while building the bridge. Willa starts to realize her true calling for medicine and feelings for Sam as her double life becomes more difficult by the day. The story is based on the life of real woman doctor during this time period – it is well researched and compelling. Those interested in reading stories of strong women that shaped this country will love the book.

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