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The Pull of the Stars

de Emma Donoghue

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MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1,5719611,458 (4.04)209
Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. LGBTQIA+ (Fiction.) HTML: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).
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 od
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Es mostren 1-5 de 95 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Best thing she's written since Room in my opinion. ( )
  Abcdarian | May 18, 2024 |
Reason read: LHBC May 2024 read. This is historical fiction that features the 1918 Spanish Flue in Dublin Ireland. The setting is three days in a small ward of women in labor who have the flue. I think this is excellently researched. I enjoyed it and can only say that some of the “kissing” was entirely unnecessary to make a great book but all in all it was well done. ( )
  Kristelh | May 13, 2024 |
The Pull of the Stars is set over three days in a small ward in a maternity hospital in Dublin—from context clues I'm guessing it's supposed to be the Rotunda—in late 1918. The First World War is in its final weeks, but the deadly flu pandemic is just getting going.

Though marketed as literary fiction, this read like Maeve Binchy writing a novelisation of an episode of Call the Midwife: all sentimentality and symphysiotomies. Emma Donoghue clearly did a lot of research on early 20th-century Ireland in general and midwifery techniques in particular for this book, but she neither wore that research lightly nor conveyed it fluidly to the reader.

Take for example how Donoghue introduces Kathleen Lynn (per the blurb, one of the book's major characters but really much more of a featured role):

Groyne, any word of when we can expect to see this new doctor?

Ah, the lady rebel! [...] He asked, Haven't you heard of her?

You're implying she's one of the Sinn Féiners?

(The Gaelic phrase meant us-aloners. They went around ranting that home rule wouldn't be enough now; nothing would content them but a breakaway republic.)

Implying nothing, Groyne told me. Miss Lynn's a vicar's daughter from Mayo gone astray—a socialist, suffragette, anarchist firebrand!


At best you could describe this kind of exposition as efficient, but even then it's clunky. Like who is that parenthetical for? Why would anyone in 1910s Ireland pause to clarify who SF are in their internal monologue? Surely if Donoghue was worried that she'd have readers who wouldn't know anything about this time and place, there were ways she could convey context in a subtler and more nuanced way.

When typing up that excerpt, by the way, I didn't forget to include the punctuation for the dialogue—that was a deliberate choice on Donoghue's part. Every time I realised part way through a sentence that I'd mistaken dialogue for prose, or mentally attributed a sentence to the wrong speaker, I had to start it again and felt irritated every time.

A wasted premise. ( )
  siriaeve | Apr 24, 2024 |
The story was fine, but it felt clunky to read. There was a lack of punctuation, giving it the feel of a run on sentence at times. ( )
  sawcat | Apr 8, 2024 |
The majority of the action in The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue takes place in a maternity care room over a few days at an Irish hospital in 1918 as influenza rages. The heroine is Nurse Julia Power, who must balance the care and the lives of her patients as they fight for themselves and the lives of their babies. The book is heartbreaking, and I'm glad I'm reading it now in 2024 because I don't think I could have when it came out in 2020.

This is good historical fiction. Donoghue did her research. You are taken step by step through Nurse Power's thoughts and actions as she bravely carries on. Through the story, Donoghue explores the ramifications of poverty, disease, war, and institutions in the lives of the patients.

There is even a love story. ( )
1 vota auldhouse | Feb 19, 2024 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Emma Donoghueautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Emma LoweNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Wood, SarahDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Still hours of dark to go when I left the house that morning.
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She doesn't love him unless she gives him twelve.
Guilt was the sooty air we breathed these days.
It's like a secret code, Bridie Sweeney said with pleasure. Red to brown to blue to black.
It suddenly struck me as perverse that someone was said to have grown up in a home only if she had no real home.
That's what influenza means, she said. Influenza delle stella--the influence if the stars. Medieval Italians thought the illness proved that the heavens were governing their fates, that people were literally star-crossed.
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Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. LGBTQIA+ (Fiction.) HTML: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).
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 od

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