The Pull of the Stars

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Emma Donoghue
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From the international bestselling author of Room. In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city centre, where expectant mothers who have come down with an unfamiliar Flu are quarantined together. Into Julia's regimented world step two outsiders: Doctor Kathleen Lynn, 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.

Donoghue has pulled off another feat: She wrote a book about a 100-year-old flu that feels completely current, down to the same frustrations and tensions and hopes and dangers. And she did it without even knowing just how relevant it would be -- how well and frighteningly her own reimagining of a historical catastrophe ... When a widespread illness characterised by fever, aches and hacking coughs struck medieval Italy, they blamed it on the stars.

She works at an overcapacity hospital in the maternity ward, and we see her both bring life into the world and struggle against the pull of the stars-the The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue review - beauty amid horror A flu ward during the 1918 flu pandemic. Photograph: Niday Picture Library/Alamy The Room author's tender and evocative novel, set... The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue | Little, Brown and Company 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) The Pull of the Stars.