Reviewed by Dee
TITLE: Shaken to the Core
PUBLISHER: Ylva Publishing
LENGTH: 390 Pages
RELEASE DATE: June 15, 2016
Kate Winthrop, the only child of a wealthy shipping magnate, has the course of her life charted for her by her parents. She’s expected to marry well and produce a successor to the Winthrop empire. But Kate has a very different path in mind. Her true passion lies with photography—and with women.
Alone in the city after losing her brother, Sicilian immigrant Giuliana Russo starts working for the Winthrops as a maid. Despite their different social status, Kate and Giuliana become friends, much to the dismay of Kate’s parents.
As the connection between the two women grows, a devastating earthquake hits San Francisco and ignites fires that sweep through the city for three days and nights.
Will the disaster shatter their tentative feelings for each other, or will they find the courage to save each other’s lives—and their hearts?
Join Kate and Giuliana on a journey of danger and discovery in the action-packed historical romance Shaken to the Core, set against the backdrop of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
Themes: 1900 · adventure · class differences · disaster · earthquake · lesbian · San Francisco
I didn’t read the blurb when I picked this book up so for the first 20% of the story I had no clue how the title came about, now though its crystal clear. And, as per the title the plot revolves around a disastrous earthquake and the ensuing aftermath.
Back tracking, from the very beginning this story sucked me into the era. Jae has a vivid way of bringing the characters and their surroundings to life. The story is told in third person and from both Kate and Giuliana’s POV’s. It begins with Giuliana and her brother, when he ends up ill life takes a turn for the worse and Giuliana finds herself seeking work, no easy feat for a girl from Sicily who has never learned to read. But she’s a clever cookie in other ways and finds employment with the Winthrops. As frowned upon as it is, her and Kate quickly become friends.
Obedience the current maid feels threatened and her nickname Biddy is more apt as she’s a meddling old biddie. Events unfold that see Giuliana once again out of work. While staying at a boarding house an earthquake hits. Kate’s family home holds up relatively well, but Giuliana finds herself trapped under debris with fire licking at her heels.
If anyone wants an insight into how it is to live through such a disaster this is as close is you’ll get to it without actually experiencing it. I live in New Zealand so I know firsthand the fear and devastation.
Doctor Lucy Sharpe is a wonderful side character, I loved her appearances and wise words.
I have to admit the middle of the story lagged for me. I know it takes days, weeks, even years to rebuild lives after a disaster, but pages upon pages about such got old and a little repetitive.
Kate’s plight to break into a man’s world, working as a photographer, showcased how far we’ve come from the mentality of a woman’s place being in the home. Her parents were uptight and consider themselves about others for most of the story.
So we have a young lady from wealth and another with barely a dollar to her name. Right up until over the 90% mark the reader is left to wonder if these two will ever forge there way together, or if it’s even possible. Because up until that point, the earthquake and recovery overshadowed pretty much everything else.
And of course, I’m not going to disclose the ending. I will say the story is vivid in its story telling, well edited and will appeal to many readers who enjoy historical fiction.