November 10, 2019

#BookReview: Across a Broken Shore by @atrueblood5

Synopsis: 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. 


Amy Trueblood grew up in California only ten minutes from Disneyland which sparked an early interest in storytelling. As the youngest of five, she spent most of her time trying to find a quiet place to curl up with her favorite books. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in journalism, she worked in entertainment in Los Angeles before returning to work in Arizona. Fueled by good coffee, and an awesome Spotify playlist, you can often find Amy working on the next post for her blog. Her first novel, NOTHING BUT SKY releases March 27, 2018.


Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
My Review: This historical setting was right up my ally and it dealing with a girl who wanted something different than what her family wanted was one that I won't soon forget!! I have never read anything by this author but this surely won't be my last story from her.  I read this one in one day and I want more! This one reminded me of another story set in our early history.  In that one the main character wanted to work with the sick and was volunteering at a hospital without her families knowledge so this one is right on par with that one.  They both stood out on their own two feet and I loved both of them!  

Willa was just such a fresh breath of air when it came to characters.  She felt so real in her mind set. Which just me love her more. She wasn't perfect and she wanted to make her family happy along with doing what she wanted.  

Go Into This One Knowing: Talks about faith in story 

MacCarthy Residence
San Francisco, California
October 6, 1936
It only took a stitch, maybe two, before I drew blood.
Mam circled my chair like a hawk ferreting out its prey. Stalking. Waiting. She’d spent countless hours in the parlor with me, explaining how to properly hold a needle to darn socks or reattach buttons. The knots in my shoulders tightened. The pad of my finger bloomed red. I welcomed the sting. It was the perfect distraction from Mam’s stare.
“Keep trying, Wilhelmina.”
She ran a hand over her ink black hair stretched tight against her scalp. The low hiss escaping her mouth resembled our old teapot coming to boil on the stove.
“Place the needle against the button just below the collar.” The tinge of sadness that always filled her voice forced me to sink lower in my chair.
As I was about to place the needle against the fabric again, low voices filled the apartment. Da and Father O’Sullivan entered, discussing last Sunday’s sermon about Wall Street and the current economic state of the country. It was a favorite topic of Father O’Sullivan, who continually railed on about the Depression and the greediness of mankind.
When the men found Mam and I in the parlor their conversation stopped. Father O’Sullivan scrubbed a hand through his shorn gray hair and pulled at the thick white collar at his neck. I turned my head pretending to focus on my task. No matter the time or place, Father O’Sullivan’s stern gaze warned he could sense the smallest sin even if you tried to hide it. “Always nice to see a young lady learning to sew. In the convent, Willa will be expected to do her own mending. Be self sufficient. It is not a life of relaxation but a dedication of every moment to God. You should be very proud that she’s about to sacrifice her life to the church.”
“We certainly are.” Da said in reverence.
“Willa knows the importance of her decision,” Mam added. “How her purpose is for the greater good.”
I focused on the task in front of me, trying to picture my life in the convent. The joy it would bring my parents. I’d always been a good and faithful daughter. Found solace in the familiar prayers and routine of Mass. It would be easy to settle into the life of a nun, I reminded myself on a regular basis, especially since the topic always brought a rare glimmer of light to my parents’ eyes.
Since graduating from school in June, I’d done everything in my power to forget where my future was headed. To Mam and Da having a daughter in the convent brought them a sense of pride and acknowledgment. They spoke as if submitting me to the spiritual community was a gift to God they were all too willing to make at my expense. The thought of being alone in that cold, quiet building for the rest of my life chilled my bones quicker than a sharp fall breeze.
I stabbed the needle through the cloth over and over. Each time I pulled the thread through the cloth, I lost the stitch. Halfway through my third attempt to add the button, a deep, keening wail rose from the pub. The terrifying sound rattled the walls like the small earthquakes that frequently shook our tiny apartment. “Was that Paddy?” I asked. Da and Father O’Sullivan froze in place. Mam locked eyes with me. Her lips went so tight I thought they might shatter. “Don’t you dare, young lady. Your da can go and see what’s happening downstairs.” Before she could reach out and stop me, I jumped from the chair and escaped out the door. I hopped down the first step and took the rest of the stairs two at a time. Once through the solid oak door connecting the first-floor lobby to the pub, I batted my way through a foggy haze of cigarette smoke in desperate search of my brother, Paddy.

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FTC Guidelines: In accordance with FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like my readers to know that many of the books I review are provided to me for free by the publisher or author of the book in exchange for an honest review. If am compensated for any reviews on this site I will state that post has been sponsored. 


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