Across a Broken Shore by Amy Trueblood

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 blogging and writing. Nothing But Sky, a 2018 Junior Library Guild selection, is her first novel .

“The Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic structure connecting the city of San Francisco to Marin County, California. It spans almost two miles across the Golden Gate, the narrow strait where San Francisco Bay opens to meet the Pacific Ocean. The dream of connecting San Francisco to its northern neighbors became a reality when construction commenced in 1933. Given the chance for steady employment amid the Great Depression, construction crews braved treacherous conditions as the roadway and towers took shape over open water. The Golden Gate Bridge, opened to the public in 1937, has endured as a picture-perfect landmark and an engineering marvel. ”

The Grateful Reader Review by 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 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.

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