The Pull of the Stars

The Pull of the Stars Dublin,Three Days In A Maternity Ward At The Height Of The Great Flu 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 SweeneyIn 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

Emma is the youngest of eight children of Frances and Denis Donoghue She attended Catholic convent schools in Dublin, apart from one year in New York at the age of ten In 1990 she earned a first class honours BA in English and French from University College Dublin, and in 1997 a PhD on the concept of friendship between men and women in eighteenth century English fiction from the University of

[Reading] ➱ The Pull of the Stars ➹ Emma Donoghue –
  • Hardcover
  • 304 pages
  • The Pull of the Stars
  • Emma Donoghue
  • English
  • 17 June 2019
  • 9780316499019

10 thoughts on “The Pull of the Stars

  1. says:

    Dublin, 1918, the world is being ravaged by the Spanish flu, influenza Men are returning from the war, damaged, changed Julia is an almost thirty, single woman, living with her brother who cannot or will not speak She is also a nurse, which is one of the only decent employment available to women Her hospital is beseiged by flu cases and her ward is one that handles the flu in those that are also pregnant Staff so short, she is alone, in charge, handling what can only be described as our present ICU Supplies snd medicines are scarce Sound familiar Since she is alone, Julia is assigned a young untrained girl to be her runner Bridie lives with the sisters, nuns who have little mercy for orphans or so called fallen women Few available doctor s has the hospital allowing a woman doctor, Kathleen Lynn, who is wanted by the police for taking part in protests Over three days these women will come to mean alot to each other.Medicine was so primitive, there was little that could be done The accuracy in the writing, the details pull one right in and immerses them in this desperate time frame Reminded me of a darker, Call if the Midwives, though these sisters were not the kind ones of Nautilus House Dr Katherine Lynn was a real person, as is detailed in the authors note, as are many of the historical details.A sad time chronicling the terrible times in the past, parallel to the time happening now Our medicines and capabilities are better, but still we are at present held hostage by a virus.ARC from Edelweiss.

  2. says:

    Julia is a 30 year old Irish nurse dealing with pregnant mothers who have the grip , or what we know as the Spanish Flu, in a world struggling with the last days of WWI, and a population also is torn between the fight between Protestants and Catholics She is unmarried and lives with her gentle brother who has returned from the war emotionally damaged and mute with the horrors he has seen With her at the hospital is a young volunteer from the local home for young girls run by nuns, and a female doctor who is trying to keep one step in front of the authorities for being a member of the radical Sinn Fein The book is set over only 3 days, but in that time the amount of history and horrible conditions of the time packed into only 300 pages is phenomenal and just brilliantly done I was drawn totally into these peoples lives Both the nurse and volunteer are fictional characters, but the rebel doctor is based on a real person, Dr Kathleen Lynn 1874 1955 and I was so taken with her story I had to actually Google her and read fully about her.Emma Donoghue started writing this book during 2018, the 100th anniversary of The Spanish Flu Little did she know that the world was about to have its own pandemic 2 years later just after she handed in her manuscript I found it very eerie to read many of the parallels of the world we are living in now This is a nod to all the nurses, doctors, suffragettes, soldiers, women and men of the world with their own troubles who help others no matter the cost to themselves This is a brilliant, moving and totally absorbing story, perfect for all types of readers and especially those who love their history as well as for all those who loved the Call the Midwives TV series, though with gore and reality I cannot recommend it highly enough Leanne

  3. says:

    That s what influenza means influenza delle stelle the influence of the stars Medieval Italians thought the illness proved the sky must be governing their fates, that they were quite literally star crossed I pictured that the heavenly bodies trying to fly us like upsidedown kites Or perhaps just yanking on us for their obscure amusement.I ve read a few books lately that feature characters based on real people and that always adds to my enjoyment, researching their lives, putting them into context in history In this case, Doctor Kathleen Lynn was a fascinating person and I liked her inclusion in this story A timely story, too, set in Ireland in the throes of the 1918 flu epidemic, over just three days in a maternity ward for expectant mothers who have the virus Some graphic scenes of childbirth going well and going badly Heart breaking back stories for some of the patients highlight how far we have moved on since those days Great writing, as you d expect from Emma Donoghue Not for the queasy reader, I d recommend it for its social relevance rather than any plot or character development I pictured trams grinding their lines across Dublin like blood through veins We all live in an unwalled city, that was it Lines scored right through Ireland carved all over the world Train tracks, roads, shipping channels, a web that connected all nations into one great suffering body.With thanks to Pan Macmillan, Picador via NetGalley for the opportunity to read an ARC.

  4. says:

    This exquisite novel is the story of 3 women working in a maternity ward in Dublin during the height of the 1918 Great Flu In three days you will meet nurse Julia Powell, a lonely single woman, Dr Kathleen Lynn, a political activist fireband wanted by the police and Bridie, a young orphan What takes place during these three days will change all of their lives these women will work tirelessly during a pandemic, risk their lives and even find the type of love that they never knew that they longed for This is a remarkable work of historical fiction and it must be remembered that the author began writing this way in advance of Covid19 This is Emma Donogue s best work since Room I read an advance copy and was not compensated

  5. says:

    After loving Room, I was so excited to receive the ARC for this novel.While the relevance and the poignancy was so clear in reading this, I felt like the plot could have been quicker to keep me interested Strong characters, but I thought it needed a faster pace for me.

  6. says:

    The Pull of the Stars is a novel set over three days during 1918 in an Irish maternity ward for flu patients, following the nurse there and the struggle with life and death Nurse Julia Power finds herself leading the tiny three bed ward for maternity patients with the flu, with only a new volunteer Bridie Sweeney for help, and a new doctor, Kathleen Lynn, who is on the run from the police With Ireland under pressure from war and disease as well as divisions and inequality, the small ward sees a microcosm of the situation as birth and death go on, and Julia finds new connections with the newcomers.It is impossible to read this book right now without thinking of the current situation, especially with all of the government warnings Julia sees and questions of who is wearing face masks and who is still going out to the cinema occurring in the background What is impressive, however, is that it draws you into the world of the tiny ward and away from these comparisons, bringing the focus that Julia must have to care for these patients without thinking about the wider situation There are a lot of issues raised in the novel, from the mental trauma of war to the treatment of unmarried mothers and unwanted children in Ireland, but the focus on a few characters, mostly female, gives it a human centre The relationship between Julia and Bridie, developed over only a few days, is a highlight of the novel, showing that sparks of light can come out of dark situations, albeit briefly.Due to the subject matter and detailed medical descriptions, some people will find this novel very difficult or not feel able to read it, but it is a gripping and touching look at a tiny example of fighting in a pandemic and a war from a single ward, and a wider look at Ireland in 1918 It isn t a happy novel really, but it shows the hope and strength people have to find and use during difficult times, and also women proving their skills and expertise in these circumstances It s not the kind of novel I would ve picked up if it wasn t by Emma Donoghue, but it was definitely worth reading.

  7. says:

    Thanks to Pan Macmillan and Emma Donoghue for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.No doubt this book was underway long before any of us had heard of Covid 19 but wow, what remarkable timing Set in Dublin during the Great Flu of 1918, it tells the story of Nurse Julia Power, working flat out in an understaffed maternity ward, and the cast of characters she interacts with during that time.While of course much has changed in the intervening 102 years, there are some really striking echoes with our current crisis The insufficient supplies and the issues with sanitation and hygiene Closure of schools and public spaces Most of all the exhausted and overworked front line medical staff and volunteers risking their own lives to tend to the ill and dying, and the care and compassion with which they carry out this horrendously difficult work The book delves into many of the other social issues that Ireland faced at that time and in the years to follow The power and oppression of the Catholic Church The so called Mother and baby homes and other state run institutions, the true horrors of which have only been fully aired in recent years Barbaric medical practices such as symphysiotomy The aftermath of the First World War and the continuing Irish struggle for independence.These are important parts of our social history in Ireland and are dealt with in a well researched and sensitive way, however I felt at times that the characters and plot got sidelined in places by author s desire to highlight these and other social and cultural issues There was a sense that the events portrayed and choices made by the characters were constructed in a particular way so as to allow certain issues to be aired, which I felt sometimes got in the way of the natural flow of the story I personally would have liked a little character and plot development for its own sake I never really got lost in the story itself or felt strongly for a particular character or relationship.Having said that I do recommend the book and it s certainly a very timely read.

  8. says:

    Having read the galley for Emma Donoghue s last novel The Wonder, I put in a request for The Pull of the Stars before even reading the synopsis I was not disappointed.Donoghue revisits some of the same themes in this novel an unmarried female nurse embracing scientific methods, women s lives in a repressive society, what we will do for family and love.Set in 1918 in the middle of the Spanish Flu epidemic, in Dublin maternity ward where an endless round of pregnant women ill with the flu come and go, the novel is a spine tingling reminder of our vulnerability.Donoghue began writing The Pull of the Stars in 2018 How chillingly providential that it would be punished the year of the novel cornoavirus covid 19 epidemic.Today as I write this review, violence and protests have been breaking out across America, demanding a just society Donoghue s novel depicts a world crushed by WWI, men broken in body and spirit like ghosts of the people they had once been Unwed mothers are taken in by organizations that demand repayment through a kind of slave labor, their babies becoming trapped in servitude and subject to abuse.The myth of progress is challenged by reminders of how little has changed in 100 years War still crushes, the human body still is attacked by enemies large and small, society remains inequitable, ingrained social prejudices destroy lives.Nurse Julia Powers is dedicated and hard working, although underpaid and lacking authority Readers spent several days with Julia at work, the action taking place in a small hospital room of three hospital cots.This is not a novel for the squeamish So many things go wrong In graphic detail, readers endure the patients suffering, the heroic endeavor to save the lives of mother and babies We meet the female patients, learn about their lives, their illness, their deaths.Every loss is marked by Julia on her silver cased watch, a memorial and reminder to never forget.This is not a novel to escape, the world too closely reflects what we are dealing with with today s pandemic Warnings, fake cures, the uncertainty, government endeavoring to play down the threat nothing has changed.I finished the novel in two days.I received a free egalley from the publisher through NetGalley My review is fair and unbiased.

  9. says:

    Visit my book blog love getting lost in the brilliant writing of Emma Donoghue Ironically, this new novel covers three days in the life of Julia Power, a maternity nurse, in a Dublin public hospital during the 1918 flu epidemic Julia works in a tiny three cot ward where pregnant women suffering from the flu recuperate and give birth.Julia works a twelve hour shift, six days a week On the first day, Julia receives some help, a volunteer, young Bridie Sweeney Bridie doesn t know anything about nursing, but she is a whiz at getting whatever Julia needs and sprints on every errand Bridie asks tons of questions, so as a reader, I learned much about caring for the sick and expectant mothers.Julia s only family is her brother, Tim, back from the war and unable to speak as a result of his traumatic experience Like other working class Dubliners, the brother and sister have very little, barely enough food to keep them going Julia loves her brother and prays that he will get better soon She thinks of him always as she sees other men suffering in the hospital.An additional powerhouse character, Dr Kathlleen Lynn, a known rebel, enters Julia s ward and helps to save lives and comfort Julia and Bridie when things seem useless The only peace both characters experience is a little time spent on the roof of the hospital, gazing at the stars The title of the book comes into play with that beautiful night.Emma Donoghue wrote this book before COVID hit the world, but her timing might have come from the stars I will always read ED s books, and I hope a new one is coming soon.Thank you to the author, HarperAvenue, and NetGalley for this e ARC, which will come out on July 21, 2020.

  10. says:

    Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown, and Company for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review Reading about the influenza pandemic of 1918, which killed people than World War I, may seem like a crazy idea in the middle of the COVID 19 pandemic, but I have found that learning about the past helps me put the crisis we are living through in perspective This book is a wonderful piece of historical fiction It provides context about not only the Great Flu but also what childbirth, mothering, and healthcare was like in Ireland during this time period, and the roles that religion and poverty played in a person s life The book takes place over the course of a few days, so the story is primarily driven forward by the characters, their backgrounds, and their relationships Overall, this is a great book and I highly recommend it to anyone who is curious about learning about the 1918 pandemic through the lens of historical fiction.

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