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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 pre 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 Pain and suffering gather at doorsteps.No particular street No predestined number Certainly, without invitation.Julia Power rides her bicycle through the darkened streets of Dublin in the pouring rain Her destination is the understaffed and over populated hospital reeling from the onslaught of The Great Flu of 1918 The world, and in particular Ireland, takes on an invisible enemy the likes of which they ve never known And in parallel, the human enemies lay in trenches and on battle fields d Pain and suffering gather at doorsteps.No particular street No predestined number Certainly, without invitation.Julia Power rides her bicycle through the darkened streets of Dublin in the pouring rain Her destination is the understaffed and over populated hospital reeling from the onslaught of The Great Flu of 1918 The world, and in particular Ireland, takes on an invisible enemy the likes of which they ve never known And in parallel, the human enemies lay in trenches and on battle fields during World War I Julia s own brother, Tim, has returned from the war altered in every way.But Julia, a trained nurse of nine years specializing in midwifery, trudges up the stairs to come face to face with a daunting reality She will be on call flying solo during her shift today No extra hands to lighten the burden of caring for women in labor harboring the harsh symptoms of the flu Julia survived a case of it a few months back Most doctors have been called to the battlefields with few to take up the gauntlet of fighting this monster pandemic with limited supplies and even less sleep and endurance.Emma Donoghue writes with a sharp ended pen here dipping into the ink of suffering, remorse, helplessness, and endless heels caught on the rim of hopelessness The Pull of the Stars speaks to the reality of the times The birthing is explicit and detailed Panic rises and rises with very little recourse If you are of a gentle persuasion, this book may be a bit of heavy lifting for you But if you lean toward the gallant efforts of humans pushed to the limits, this novel will leave you with a solid respect for those who came before us and for those who still battle the unspeakable every day.Yes, this novel cuts close to the grain as we battle the Covid 19 pandemic Pain and misfortune will never leave this world But it is an eye opener as to how these brave individuals gave their all with such antiquated knowledge and materials The Irish government set out posters advocating eating onions and wearing eucalyptus to fight the grippe And in spite of the odds, so many survived Packed on crowded trams, a bad cough would get the response Sure you might as well spray us with bullets The Pull of the Stars is an exceptional read Brutal, but not without the essentials of compassion and dedication And the profound reality is that humanity rises up, time and time again, for another day.I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review My thanks to Little, Brown and Company and to the talented Emma Donoghue for the opportunity 5 Stars, one of the best of 2020Talk about timing Emma Donoghue became interested in the Great Influenza in 2018 because of the 100 year anniversary But as she put the final touches on her draft, the corona virus reared its ugly head Emma Donoghue has always been a master at putting us smack dab in a time and place Here, it s Ireland in 1918 WWI is still ongoing and the Influenza has Dublin in its grasp Nurse Julia Powers is acting matron of the Maternity Fever Ward Into her ward comes Br 5 Stars, one of the best of 2020Talk about timing Emma Donoghue became interested in the Great Influenza in 2018 because of the 100 year anniversary But as she put the final touches on her draft, the corona virus reared its ugly head Emma Donoghue has always been a master at putting us smack dab in a time and place Here, it s Ireland in 1918 WWI is still ongoing and the Influenza has Dublin in its grasp Nurse Julia Powers is acting matron of the Maternity Fever Ward Into her ward comes Bridie, with no training whatsoever, and Dr Lynn, a female doctor and Sinn Fein rebel There are similarities to our current epidemic, with overflowing hospitals, supply shortages and the need for masks, but we also get to see what has changed No doctors nowadays prescribing alcohol to pregnant women to give them comfort or linseed poultices to cure a cough And the same lack of understanding about social distancing The queue I passed outside the picture house Grown men, women and children, all gasping to get into the great germ box The writing is so detailed, you will feel you are in the room And the characters come across as fully fleshed This book just drew me in It s not a fast paced story, but I was desperate to know what the outcome would be for them and the patients under their care The story is heartbreaking As with our own crisis, the book points out the incredible strain on the workers tasked with caring for the sick As an interesting side note, Dr Lynn was a real person Make sure to read the Author s Note for her history My thanks to netgalley and Little, Brown for an advance copy of this book 4.5 stars rounded to 5 starsWhat a quiet yet powerful little gem this is Emma Donoghue escaped my radar up until now The blurb enticed me, and my impulse decision to hit the green Net Galley request button paid off nicely.This is a 3 day slice of life centering on 3 women and several key minor characters The book takes place during the 1918 influenza pandemic Much of the story unfolds in the tiny lyingin ward really a small room for pregnant women ill with the flu in an understaffed hosp 4.5 stars rounded to 5 starsWhat a quiet yet powerful little gem this is Emma Donoghue escaped my radar up until now The blurb enticed me, and my impulse decision to hit the green Net Galley request button paid off nicely.This is a 3 day slice of life centering on 3 women and several key minor characters The book takes place during the 1918 influenza pandemic Much of the story unfolds in the tiny lyingin ward really a small room for pregnant women ill with the flu in an understaffed hospital in Dublin Twenty nine year old Julia Power is an nurse and midwife we are privy to much of what is in her head Her volunteer helper is Bridie, around 22 years old, who is a product of the miserable nun run orphanage in town Dr Kathleen Lynn, a member of a rebel group who is wanted by the police, also plays a key role in the novel Her character is based on a real person of the same name do not fail to read about her in the wonderful Author s Note by Ms Donoghue Each of these women have their issues that play a major role and influence the relationships forged amongst the three Interesting side characters include Julia s brother, rendered mute by his experiences during WWI orderly Groyne doing his best to cope with issues in his own way and, of course, the ill mothers to be Honor White, Delia Garrett, Ita Noonan, and seventeen year old Mary O Rahilly, all with their own burdens to bear This book is not for action fans It is a slow burn, to be sure, yet it somehow drew me in quickly and captivated me for the duration Despite it being character driven and nearly totally confined to one small space, there was a tremendous amount of tension and suspense in that tiny room that shackled me to the pages Oh, and what a learning experience Gosh, I took an OB GYN rotation in medical school, but I was so muchentranced by all the knowledge I gleaned about the state of the art of delivering a baby in the early 20th century in a time of little help and rampant illness Ms Donoghue really did her research The ambiance is well portrayed as the dark and dreary times it was Such hardships, but how strong people were back then to do the very best they could with the situations they found themselves in I particularly loved how people by helping others and sticking together could accomplish a great deal in making the most of their lives This book isn t for everyone, but it was for me I highly recommend it for all who are interested in reading about admirable people doing their best under less than ideal circumstances and taking lessons learned from those who pass through their lives I wish to thank Net Galley, Little Brown and Company, and Miss Emma Donoghue for an advanced copy Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way [ FREE E-PUB ] ♏ 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, By The Bestselling Author Of The Wonder And ROOMIn 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, 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 WorkIn 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 NOW AVAILABLEVita gloriosa vita Life glorious lifeThere s an aura throughout this story that is somewhat bleak, while at the same time gripping in the dangers, the then fairly recent uprising that occurred Easter 1916, WWI, the conditions these people face during the 1918 pandemic something that we have all recently become too familiar with There s also so much tender consideration, kindness from this nurse and her young charge that comes to assist the ward where Julia P NOW AVAILABLEVita gloriosa vita Life glorious lifeThere s an aura throughout this story that is somewhat bleak, while at the same time gripping in the dangers, the then fairly recent uprising that occurred Easter 1916, WWI, the conditions these people face during the 1918 pandemic something that we have all recently become too familiar with There s also so much tender consideration, kindness from this nurse and her young charge that comes to assist the ward where Julia Power works, the Maternity Fever ward, designated for those women with the flu who are separated from the healthy maternity patients Along with that, some lovely writing, too.Julia is a nurse nearing her 30th birthday, and when she arrives at work that morning she s informed that she will be in charge, for the day, of this newly formed ward, and that the other nurse scheduled is missing in action, with two expectant, as well as sick, mothers in her care one having died during the previous night s shift And while no assistant is promised, one eventually appears, Bridie Sweeney Bridie is a delight, a wonderful addition, both to Julia and to the reader, as she brings much light to this story A young woman who isn t quite sure of her age, having been left in one of the Catholic convents, she s known little of the world, and nothing about love, the only treatment she s had at the hands of the nuns has not been kind Bridie shares her story, little by little with Julia Julia, being a kind hearted woman, cringes a bit at how unflinchingly Bridie shares the trauma she s endured, but opens her heartto her in the process of getting to know her, and begins to look forward to her company This relationship adds so much light that s so needed in such a dark time But, there s so muchto this story than I could tell you in a few short paragraphs So many of the small details of this might seem too conveniently placed the lack of disinfectant, the having to make do with other medical necessities normally available, the signs that seem to echo those of our current times, but Donoghue began writing this story in October of 2018, long before this pandemic we are all living through began So many similarities, the shops closed, companies that appear to be deserted A changed world from the one they knew, all that and in addition, they were still dealing with the repercussions of the war that only ended in November of that year Families with losses from both the war and the pandemic.While I haven t read all of her books, I ve read a few others by her Room, Frog Music, and The Wonder and I have to say that out of all of those, that I think that she s outdone herself with this one, as much as I enjoyed, loved the others There is so much tenderness in the way these characters are shown, and so much compassion in how this story is shared, it served as a lovely reminder that there still is love, tenderness and compassion in this world Pub Date 21 Jul 2020Many thanks for the ARC provided by Little, Brown and Company Cover up each cough or sneezefools and traitors spread disease October 31, 1918 Dublin, Ireland A war A pandemic A hospital maternity fever ward A skilled midwife nurse Julia Power An able bodied helper runner Bridie Sweeney And Dr Kathleen Lynn, rebel doctor and real life character.The story takes place in three very long exhausting days for a nurse, her helper and a doctor on the run And everyone is overworked including an annoying singing orderlythat you may just c Cover up each cough or sneezefools and traitors spread disease October 31, 1918 Dublin, Ireland A war A pandemic A hospital maternity fever ward A skilled midwife nurse Julia Power An able bodied helper runner Bridie Sweeney And Dr Kathleen Lynn, rebel doctor and real life character.The story takes place in three very long exhausting days for a nurse, her helper and a doctor on the run And everyone is overworked including an annoying singing orderlythat you may just come to like, dangerously inept doctors and old crow Sister Luke, that you probably won t.And whew If you don t know anything about the technical aspects of childbirth, while fighting contagious flu symptoms, you certainly will after reading THE PULL OF THE STARS You will also come to know the reason for the unseemly scary chapter titles.RED BROWN BLUE BLACK.For me, a slowly paced start of medical procedures and graphic births changed into enlightenment, an intense fight for life, a surprising relationship and a fast moving shocker of a conclusion.So How do we get back to normal after a pandemic I hope we find out.sooner than later.ARC provided by Little Brown Company via NetGalley in exchange for review. Cover up each cough or sneeze fools and traitors spread diseaseThe Pull of the Stars is Emma Donoghue s newest release, eerily relevant to today We follow Nurse Julia Powers in the midst of the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 Ireland 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 starsthe merciless influenza Critically understaffed, Julia takes upon an uneducated volunteer, Bridie SweenyCover up each cough or sneeze fools and traitors spread diseaseThe Pull of the Stars is Emma Donoghue s newest release, eerily relevant to today We follow Nurse Julia Powers in the midst of the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 Ireland 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 starsthe merciless influenza Critically understaffed, Julia takes upon an uneducated volunteer, Bridie Sweeny and they slowly grow togetherThat s what influenza means, she said Influenza delle stelle the influence of the stars Medieval Italians thought the illness proved that the heavens were governing their fates, that people were quite literally star crossed I pictured that, the celestial bodies trying to fly us like upside down kites Or perhaps just yanking on us for their obscure amusement I went into this book solely knowing that this book dealt with the Spanish Flu pandemic in Ireland While that is true, the novel is very narrow in scope and focus, centring almost entirely in one room, in the span of three days I think I just went in with the wrong expectations, hoping for a book with a broader look at how society dealt with the illness Instead, it felt likeof a documentary slice of life with copious medical and historical detailsIt occurred to me that in the case of this flu there could be no signing a pact with it what we waged in hospitals was a war of attrition, a battle over each and every body I really enjoyed whenever we got a look at the farer reaching repercussions of the pandemic From the government s mixed messages, to the disproportionate effect on the poor I was drawing some frightening parallels between today and over 100 years agoThe government has the situation well in hand and the epidemic is actually in decline There is no real risk except to the reckless who try to fight the flu on their feet If you feel yourself succumbing, report yourself and life down for a fortnight Would they be dead if they d stayed in bed I also loved the inclusion of real historical figure, Doctor Kathleen Lynn I was hoping she would beprevalent in the story or even that this book centred around her instead because she was a fascinating character I appreciated the fact that Emma Donoghue took a genre that oftentimes uses its historical setting to rationalise the erasure of people of different identities and flipped it on its head We have an LGBT relationship that develops over the story that took me by surprise but that was perhaps not a positive thing I felt like the relationship had no build up or hints at romantic chemistry so when it occurred I was taken aback I would have liked it better if the romance was sprinkled in throughout rather than as an almost plot twist near the end to add emotional stakes Speaking of the ending, I found it rushed While thinking back to what occurred, I objectively liked the ending However the way that it happened felt conflicting with the slower pace of the majority of the book By the time I was finished it felt like whiplashthan the explosive ending I think was intended Overall, I found this book to be really interesting in terms of drawing similarities to today, and learningabout life in those times It was immersive, and felt like I was in the room with them, heightened by the audiobook in which I really enjoyed the accents and overall performance The atmosphere was bleak and suffocating but broken up with moments of hope and human compassion While it wasn t what I was looking for, I am certain that many people will enjoy this onethan I did Thank you to Hachette Audio and Libro.fm for this ALCRelease Date 21 July 2020 Was not prepared to be emotionally ravaged by this book Gonna go cry now Very not okay. Popping in here with my most common note on reviews THIS BOOK HAS QUEER REP Sexuality isn t a spoiler In fact, it s almost the only way to market a book to me at this point.