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The Pull of The Stars by Emma Donoghue

The Pull of The Stars

Author: Emma Donoghue

Genre: Historical fiction, LGBTQA+

Pages: 295

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Publication Date: July 21st 2020

Synopsis of The Pull of The Stars (Goodreads)

The Pull of The Stars by Emma Donoghue is set 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 by Emma Donoghue once again finds the light in the darkness in this new classic of hope and survival against all odds.

My Thoughts on The Pull of The Stars:

Photo credit- @breathingbooks_95

Julia works as a nurse in the maternity- fever ward during the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1918 where pregnant women who are suffering from the flu are quarantined. The hospital is understaffed so Julia is given the responsibility of the ward for the day.

Enters Bridie Sweeney, a young volunteer, who has no medical knowledge but is eager to help, and Doctor Kathleen Lynn who is running away from the police.

The Pull of The Stars spans over 3 days. The entirety of the book is basically descriptions of Nurse Julia and Bridie Sweeney taking care of the patients. I know this synopsis sounds boring and mundane but it was anything but that.

I felt so much for Nurse Julia and Bridie Sweeney and all the patients. So much happens during these three days- patients die, patients are discharged, babies die inside the womb or are born dead, babies are born, friendships are formed, love grows. As I said, a lot happens.

This book is quite hard to read sometimes because it is set during the turmoil of the first world war in addition to a pandemic where the healthcare system was not as advance as it is now. I cannot imagine a situation worse than this. Imagine on one side a world war is going on and thousand of soldiers are dying daily and on top of that there is a pandemic that is killing thousands of civilians daily. It was truly a gruesome time in our history.

This story show what it is to care for others, what is to die during times of pandemic, and what it is to be a human. This is not a fast paced story but I felt so many emotions while reading this book.

The romance was so unexpected and when the kiss happened, I could not help but see that those two people belonged together since the moment they met. The world is in mayhem, countries are at war with one another, people are dying of the flu, and yet, when these two women kissed each other on the rooftop at midnight, suddenly the world seemed a better place to live in.

The ending was heart wrenching. It was devastating. I adored Bridie Sweeney the most in this book and I felt like she deserved so much better in this world. There will always be a tug at my heart whenever I think about her. Life is so unfair sometimes. I am sad, okay. So sad.

I fell in love with this book. This book was enlightening as well as eye opening. I learnt a lot from this book and had a great time reading it. This book will stay with me for a long time.

I will highly recommend this book!

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Thank you so much for reading my review. Any feedback would be highly appreciated!

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