Across a Broken Shore

Flux. Nov. 2019. 360p. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781635830422.
Gr 9 Up–Prim and proper 18-year-old Wilhelmina (“Willa”) MacCarthy knows what she wants to do with her life, the trouble is trying to convince her parents. In this historical novel, Willa finds herself at a crossroads regarding the next chapter of her adult life. During the fall of 1936 in San Francisco, Willa yearns to be a doctor. In the confined space of her bedroom, she pores over a concealed Gray’s Anatomy textbook while her parents and brothers work in the family bar. To make matters worse, Willa counts the days in her diary until she will be forced to give up her life and follow her family’s tradition of becoming a nun. As luck would have it, Willa meets the new doctor in town: Dr. Katherine Winston, who becomes a sisterly role model for Willa. Dr. Winston pushes Willa to look past all obstacles and to dream for more. Trueblood expertly portrays life in Depression-era San Francisco through the eyes of a young woman. She provides vivid details of the protagonist’s actions and the settings, including the building of the Golden Gate Bridge.
VERDICT Although the climactic event is brought on too early, leaving readers to patiently wait for another enticing moment, this book could potentially find a home on library shelves.

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