Emma Donoghue's luminous story of three days in an Irish maternity ward at the height of the Great Flu is a tale of death and life, of history, of feminism, of determination, of all kinds of love, painted in gorgeous prose that at times made me stop to copy down passages — not just because of their beauty but because of the heart-in-the-throat feeling of being reminded that, in the midst of such brutal reality, can be stunning moments of joy. Recommended By Gigi L., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Dublin, 1918: 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 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.
"Darkly compelling, illuminated by the light of compassion and tenderness: Donoghue's best novel since Room." Kirkus Reviews
"Donoghue offers vivid characters and a gripping portrait of a world beset by a pandemic and political uncertainty. A fascinating read in these difficult times." Booklist (Starred Review)
"...searing tale....blunt prose and detailed, painstakingly researched medical descriptions....Donoghue's evocation of the 1918 flu, and the valor it demands of health-care workers, will stay with readers." Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Born in Dublin in 1969, Emma Donoghue is an Irish emigrant twice over: she spent eight years in Cambridge doing a PhD in eighteenth-century literature before moving to London, Ontario, where she lives with her partner and their two children. She also migrates between genres, writing literary history, biography, stage and radio plays as well as fairy tales and short stories. She is best known for her novels, which range from the historical (Slammerkin, Life Mask, Landing, The Sealed Letter) to the contemporary (Stir-Fry, Hood, Landing). Her international bestseller Room was a New York Times Best Book of 2010 and was a finalist for the Man Booker, Commonwealth, and Orange Prizes. For more information, visit www.emmadonoghue.com.