A young woman whose family wants her to become a nun and the world-famous bridge that changed everything. We’ve got the exclusive cover reveal for and first look at Amy Trueblood’s upcoming novel Across a Broken Shore
If you’re a fan of historical fiction novels, Across a Broken Shore is one you should keep your eye on. From the look and sound of it, we have a feeling that it’ll be an engrossing story that won’t soon be forgotten.
(After all, how often do you come across a Depression Era coming of age story about a young woman working to break free from her family’s expectations of her that’s set against the backdrop of the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge? Not often, we’d suspect.)
Across a Broken Shore doesn’t come out until November, but the cover and excerpt below definitely have us excited and rushing to put this book on our to-read list!
So sit back, relax, and enjoy this first look at one of fall’s most promising historical fiction novels.
Check out the *gorgeous* cover for Amy Trueblood’s ‘Across a Broken Shore’!
Isn’t Across a Broken Shore‘s cover absolutely stunning? Here’s what author Amy Trueblood has to say about it:
Young Adult Historical covers are tricky animals. Simultaneously, the design must intrigue a reader while also giving a nod to the book’s setting and time period.
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Flux cover artist, Sarah Taplin did a beautiful job of marrying all these ideas together for ‘Across a Broken Shore.’ Sarah and the whole team at Flux was wonderful about allowing me to provide research material to ensure everything from Willa’s dress to her doctor’s bag was period accurate.
When I saw the first cover layouts I was pretty much speechless. All I could think of is this is Willa, my main character, in her exact element. Sarah literally took the image out of my head and placed it on the page, and I could not be happier with the finished version.
Can’t wait until November to crack this book open? Here’s an exclusive excerpt to tide you over until then!
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 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.
The room buzzed with early evening revelry. The twang of the fiddle beat against my ears as the folk band played yet another rendition of “Molly Malone” to a crowd of ironworkers fresh off their shift at the half-built bridge spanning the Golden Gate.
I raced through the maze of bar stools and tables. Swirls of dancing men and women spun around me, their limbs loose from pints of ale and good music. With each step, my saddle shoes popped up from the floor, the wood planks sticky from the beer, whiskey, and bourbon spilled over the course of a long day.
More than a few drunk men tipped their hats in my direction. “Good day, Willa,” they murmured as I rushed to the end of the mahogany bar. Once there, I found Nick, one of my four brothers, holding a blood-soaked cloth over Paddy’s hand.
“What happened?” I asked doing my best to keep the quiver from my voice.
Da rushed past me. His face twisted as I stood amid the noise of clinking glasses and voices raised in song. Weeks past my eighteenth birthday, and my father still squirmed like he was being poked with a hot iron every time I stepped inside our family-owned bar. A place he considered respectable for everyone but his only daughter.
About ‘Across a Broken Shore’ by Amy Trueblood
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.
Across a Broken Shore by Amy Trueblood is set to hit shelves on November 5, 2019. You can preorder your copy now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, or Indiebound. Also, don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads “to read” shelf!
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