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The pull of the stars : a novel

by Donoghue, Emma, 1969-

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: Unavailable 0 of 8 copies
85 people on waitlist
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Summary
In Dublin, 1918, a maternity ward at the height of the Great Flu is a small world of work, risk, death, and unlooked-for love, in "Donoghue's best novel since Room " ( Kirkus Reviews )

In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city center, where expectant mothers who have come down with the terrible new Flu are quarantined together. Into Julia's regimented world step two outsiders -- Doctor Kathleen Lynn, a rumoured Rebel on the run from the police , and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney.

In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over three days, these women change each other's lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world. With tireless tenderness and humanity, carers and mothers alike somehow do their impossible work.

In The Pull of the Stars , Emma Donoghue once again finds the light in the darkness in this new classic of hope and survival against all odds.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Julia Powell, a dedicated nurse at a Dublin hospital in 1918, pours her energy into caring for patients in the women's fever ward, tending to pregnant women struggling to both give birth and fight off the flu. Turning 30, Julia is unbothered by the prospects of never marrying, focusing her concern instead on the prospects of recovery for her brother, Tim, back from the war with no physical wounds but deeply wounded, nonetheless. At work, Julia laments the extra cots jammed into wards and dire newspaper headlines. She is on the front line in what had been seen as a golden age of medicine conquering maladies from anthrax to malaria but is now no match for the disease "beating us hollow." In the tumult of influenza and the post--WWI era, she meets two extraordinary women: a sprite of a helper, Bridie Sweeney, a young woman well acquainted with the battle to survive poverty, and the indomitable Dr. Lynn, a firebrand indicted in the Irish uprising who was released to help in the overcrowded hospital. These two women will change everything Julia thought she knew about life, nursing, politics, and love. Donoghue (Akin, 2019) offers vivid characters and a gripping portrait of a world beset by a pandemic and political uncertainty. A fascinating read in these difficult times.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Readers ardently pursue every book by Donoghue, but the prescient pandemic theme and valiant nurse protagonist in her powerful latest will increase interest exponentially."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Donoghue's searing tale (after Akin) takes readers to a Dublin beleaguered by wartime shortages and ravaged by a lethal new strain of influenza. On Halloween in 1918, nurse Julia Powers, single and ambivalent about marriage, is about to turn 30. When Julia's supervisor gets the flu, Julia is left alone serving a ward of high-risk pregnant influenza patients. Kathleen Lynn (the story's only historical figure), an activist involved with the radical Sinn Féin party, supplements Julia's own knowledge of obstetrics, and volunteer Bridey Sweeney arrives to help with the backbreaking work. Julia feels a powerful draw to the smart and willing Bridey, whose optimism belies her impoverished upbringing in a brutal charity orphanage. As they cope with the ward's unceasing cycle of birth and death, their closeness challenges Julia's sense of herself and her life. While the novel's characters and plot feel thinner than the best of the author's remarkable oeuvre, her blunt prose and detailed, painstakingly researched medical descriptions do full justice to the reality of the pandemic and the poverty that helps fuel it. Donoghue's evocation of the 1918 flu, and the valor it demands of health-care workers, will stay with readers. (July)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Nurses -- Fiction.
Orphans -- Fiction.
Pregnant women -- Fiction.
Medical personnel -- Fiction.
Hospitals -- Maternity services -- Fiction.
Influenza Epidemic, 1918-1919 -- Ireland -- Dublin -- Fiction.
Dublin (Ireland) -- Fiction.
Historical fiction.
Publisher New York :2020
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 295 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN 9780316499019
0316499013
Other Classic View