Cover Image: Across a Broken Shore

Across a Broken Shore

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Enjoyable and quick read. Would be good beach read for a lover of
Historical novels.

Thank you to Netgalley for the free arc in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for this review copy of Across a Broken Shore by Amy Trueblood. 
This is the coming of age story of a girl in 1930’s era San Francisco that has to make a decision about her future during a time when young women didn’t get a lot of choices. A chance encounter with both a female doctor and a young man working on the Golden Gate Bridge make her re-think everything about what her parents have planned for her. 
I really appreciated the thought and detail that Amy Trueblood put in to making San Francisco come alive for the reader. The sights and sounds of a Depression city era added a richness to the book along with historical facts about female doctors, the building of the bridge and the family life of a traditional Irish Catholic family. 
My only criticism would be that I felt like some of the dialogue was excessively wordy and not exactly conversational. 
I gave this novel four stars and recommend it to anyone that enjoys historical fiction and stories about women finding their way in the world.
Was this review helpful?
*I received a copy via netgalley however this in no way influenced my opinion.*

4 stars

I read Amy Trueblood’s debut and loved it so I was excited when I was approved for Across A Broken Shore. Once again I loved this, it was well-written and researched. It follows 18-year-old Willa as she follows her dreams of becoming a doctor. I absolutely loved Willa’s character she was so strong-willed and I really enjoyed her relationships with the other characters throughout the novel especially Doctor Winston – her mentor. I don’t know much about the Golden Gate bridge so reading a novel that incorporated the building of it was a really interesting experience for me. The medical elements also fascinated me. 

Overall I really enjoyed this, especially the characters. The only reason it’s not a 5-star read is that it took me a little while to get into it.
Was this review helpful?
Irish-American Young Woman Wants More from Life

Two things drew me to this story, and the author supplied an excellent tale around them. My own Irish-American side of the family lived in San Francisco at the time that the story took place, and my great-grandparents wanted their youngest son to become a priest; like Willa’s parents, they saw that as a testament to their faith and a badge of honor. So I loved the San Francisco vibe of this story, including the momentous building of the Golden Gate Bridge. But Willa, our heroine, is the most fascinating part of it. She is the dutiful daughter of Irish parents who desperately want her to become a nun. And she doesn't want to do that, but she doesn't quite know how to say no at first. Her interest is in medicine. From the first scene, we get a sense of her innate medical sense as she tries to rally the men in the family to help her injured brother; we also see how she is both confined in her role as daughter and as a potential future nun. Even though this book is classed as young adult, I thought the author wrote it so intelligently that it could be an adult read. I'm well past young adult age, and I quite enjoyed it.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this title.

Historical fiction is really hit or miss for me. I know it takes me some time to really attach myself to the story and I definitely tried here several times. But in the end it was a no go.
Was this review helpful?
"Across a Broken Shore" had an interesting premise and I liked the characters and the plot, but the novel felt just a little too long. Especially towards the end, it got rather repetitive and I didn't like how easily the main conflict was resolved in the end because it made Willa's constant worrying about it sort of unnecessary.
Was this review helpful?
I’ve always liked reading historical fiction and this one is not an exception. This was such a beautiful book that mirrors history. You could totally see that the author thoroughly researched the topics she’s talking about (Golden Gate Bridge and the misogyny to female doctors back then). The character development on this one is on point! The ending was not my favorite though - it felt rushed somehow.

ps: i adore reading the author’s note ‘cause i saw a glimpse of how she wrote the book.
Was this review helpful?
I gave this a real go and even after I finished it I didn't seem to care. It was like it had had no effect on me at all.
Was this review helpful?
Willa is the only daughter in a very Catholic household.  Her four brothers come and go as they please, and help out in the bar their father owns.  But eighteen year old Willa is heading to the convent to be a nun and her parents are very protective of her.  Unfortunately, Willa doesn't really want to join the convent, she wants to be a doctor.  When her brother cuts his hand and she takes him to the local doctor, who happens to be a woman, the pieces start to fall into place for Willa to make her seemingly impossible dream a reality.

I enjoyed reading this book very much.  It was interesting and well written and thought out.  The characters were engaging and the descriptions of the Golden Gate Bridge under construction were especially fascinating.  

Thank you to Netgalley, the author Amy Trueblood, and the publisher North Star Editions for the opportunity to read and enjoy this book.  This is my honest opinion and I strongly recommend this novel.
Was this review helpful?
Hmm. I feel very conflicted about this novel. On the one hand, I enjoyed the writing and worldbuilding. On the other, the characters felt flat compared to other historical fiction I've read, and I wish the plot was more structured and less meandering. I'd recommend this to anyone with an interest in this period of history, but I wouldn't consider it a "must-read" work.
Was this review helpful?
*I received a free copy of this ebook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

This is my second Amy Trueblood book, and I was definitely not disappointed. I've really enjoyed her work and look forward to anything else she writes in the future. I really appreciate the research that goes into her writing, for one thing. She manages to weave the story and the history together seamlessly. Her characters are well developed and distinct. She allows them to grow and develop quite naturally.

Right from the start, I liked Willa (18). A constant battle waged within her between the desire to be a dutiful daughter and the desire to control her own life. She was smart and headstrong with a thirst for knowledge and a propensity to help others. I adored Sam (20). He was such a hard worker in his own right, and he took on a lot of responsibility to look after others, like Benny, Simon, and Maeve. I loved how he not only wasn't intimidated by Willa's intelligence, but he encouraged her more than almost anyone else. I really liked them together.

Willa's brothers were especially fun to watch as they changed from overbearing protectors, there to ensure that Willa fulfills her destiny to be come a nun, to some of her biggest supporters. I had a more difficult time with her parents, mostly her mother, because of the pressure they exerted on Willa to enter the convent. But I have to view her with compassion in light of the things she went through. Much of the conflict within the MacCarthy family was rooted in an accident that had happened six years before the story started. There was a lot of grief and guilt. Trueblood successfully made it a believable part of the story and influence in their lives.

Dr. Katherine Winston was exactly the inspiration and mentor Willa needed. She was very similar to Willa in her stubbornness, work ethic, and intelligence. She supported, challenged, encouraged, and taught. One of my favorite characters in the book.

Note: A little bit of mild swearing. Medical trauma.
Was this review helpful?
I adore historical fiction, and this one did not disappoint. The writing style was amazing, the characters were amazing, I loved it. I hope to read more one day.
Was this review helpful?
It's hard to imagine having to give up your dreams for the future because of a promise you made as a teenager.  This is exactly what has happened to Willa MacCarthy.  After a tragic accident affected her family, Willa promised herself that she would become a nun in order to bring happiness to her parents.  However, what she really wants to be is a doctor.  After reading medical books for years and keeping her real passion in hiding, circumstances cause her to cross paths with Dr. Katherine Winston.  Before she knows it, Willa finds herself telling lies to her family members so she can secretly assist Dr. Winston at her San Francisco clinic and at the field hospital next to the fledgling Golden Gate Bridge that is being constructed.  Along the way, Willa must decide if she should continue to pursue her true life's calling or sacrifice everything to placate her family's desires.  

I loved the setting of this book since it made me think of another book that I had read set during the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. Any book that features strong willed and independent women is another plus for me too.  It's always a pleasure to see how women in the past fought against gender stereotypes and pursued careers that were traditionally held by men.  On the flip side, I was also amazed by the sacrifice of the nuns.  They really had to give up everything!  I know I couldn't do it.   I wish there could have been another way to end the book, but I can see why the author ended it the way she did.  I am looking forward to future books written by this author.  Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read Across a Broken Shore.
Was this review helpful?
This book was great. I truly loved the female lead character and the storyline where she forges her own path despite expectations set upon her. I had no expectations for this book, I requested it based on the description and it delivered. The storyline is beautiful and heartwarming and the writing will prompt me to read other books written by this author. If you want a good story with a strong female lead who doesn’t bend to society, this is it!
Was this review helpful?
This was a lovely book that shows what determination and courage is about. Willa MacCarthy had her future laid out by her Irish Catholic family and certainly becoming a doctor was not in their p[ans. It is 1936 in San Francisco when women in medicine were relatively an unknown thing. Willa's parents desire was for their daughter to enter the convent something this poor girl did not desire. 

After meeting and working for a female doctor, Willa is even more convinced where her future should lie. Pushed by her family and her brothers, Willa is forced into a place where she find out whether she can become independent while still maintaining the love and closeness of family. 

This was a well done YA book and well worth the read.
Thank you to Amy Trueblood, and NetGalley for a copy of this book.
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely loved this book. For some reason, I tend to forget how much I love historical fiction. Something about it always draws me in and broadens my thoughts. I am a huge fan of it and am always in awe of the time period I am reading about. This one did not disappoint at all. I definitely hold this book up there with Ruta Sepetys’ books. I couldn’t put this baby down. Amy Trueblood did an amazing job describing the 1930’s. I felt like I was there. And I loved all of the characters in this book.

We follow Willa, who is the youngest daughter of 5 and the only girl. Her family is Irish-Catholic and is so proud of Willa because she is destined to become a nun. During this time it was an honor to have one of your daughters go to the convent. The only problem is, that Willa doesn’t really want this for her life. She is doing it because she feels that it is her duty to her family, but it is not her true passion and she doesn’t have the heart to tell them that. Her true passion is medicine. But during this time a woman was looked down upon for studying medicine and becoming a doctor. Because of her closest brother, they happen to meet the new doctor of the town, who happens to be a woman. After much convincing and lying, Willa decides to assist this doctor until it is time for her to go to the convent. This is such an amazing story about what women had to go through during this time and how they overcame it. During all this, we also get to see the San Francisco bridge being built. I learned so much about it and it fascinated me. After reading I wanted to go to San Fransico just to talk over the Golden Gate Bridge.

This story will always stick with me and so will these characters. I was so sad when it was over. If you love historical fiction then I know you will love this book!!!

Fun fact. I decided to go back to college to get my degree and work with a publishing company. Anyways, in my history class this term, my essay topic will be on the Golden Gate Bridge.
Was this review helpful?
Willa has had her life planned out for her: to join the church and become a nun. Then a chance encounter with a woman doctor gives her the opportunity of a lifetime, to change her dismal, unwanted future in pursuit of medicine. But 1930s in San Francisco is not a world that will deal kindly with her dreams--especially where her strict Catholic family is involved.

Every day, she faces a decision of how far she is willing to take her deceit in order to pursue her dreams. The building of the Golden Gate Bridge brings opportunity for many struggling to find work. But it can be dangerous too. Given the chance to learn on the field, Willa meets Sam. But being drawn to him just means another complication--another lie--in her already complicated life.

Overall, I enjoyed this book well enough. I loved the setting and the history. However, I was a little disappointed in Willa--mainly because of her lying and her excuses for how it was all right that she was lying; even her friends encouraged her to continue with the lies because she was doing good in the world by working in medicine. Also, how religion and faith were treated as a burden. The glorification of a doctor whose "only faith was medicine" bothered me, as well as one character's flippant remark "I don't care about religion." Willa's relationships were built upon a very sandy foundation, and I don't feel she truly conquered any of her struggles.

Other notes: There is some mild language and some graphic/blood situations including injuries, pregnancies, and abortion.

I was given a review copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
1930’s San Francisco is alive and booming in ACROSS A BROKEN SHORE! This is such an encouraging read for young girls who dream big. They can follow Willa’s story as she breaks through gender barriers to become a female doctor in an era when men dominated the field. The plot is beautifully woven and if you close your eyes you can picture the Golden Gate Bridge and the characters of this story working to create a whole new world.
Was this review helpful?
A young-adult historical fiction book with a pinch of romance and spoonfulls of awesomeness inside. 😄
This story is set in San Fransisco in 1936. It tells a story of Willhemina, Willa, McCarthy a 16 year old girl from a Irish-Catholic family. Her family is still grieving from past accident and it still haunts them until the present. Willa is an obedient girl who always listens to her parents. But, everything changes when she meets dr. Winston a lady doctor and Sam an ironworker for the Golden Bridge. They open her eyes. Then, Willa is torn between chasing her own dream or her mother's dream.
I rarely read historical fiction, but this book is really good. It opens my eyes that not everything that connects with history is boring. The characters and the plot are interesting. I like how the characters support each other's roles. Willa is a strong main character. I like her so much. How the writer writes her is so realistic. We can read how many problems and inner wars she faces. Though, the plot is centered on her, yet, it is still good. Moreover, the language used is easy to read. And it is written beautifully. I get so many insights from this book. Thank you for writing this book!
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book. The family dynamic was great and the relationships between Wills and her brothers especially Paddy was beautiful. There was a bit of Insta love but it worked for the story. The historical aspect of Across a Broken  Shore was interesting to read about!!! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a sweet historical romance all about finding yourself and going against the ideas people have for you.
Was this review helpful?