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Publisher's Summary

The new number-one best seller from the author of The Wonder and Room

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, by the best-selling author of The Wonder and Room.

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, 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, caregivers 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.

©2020 Emma Donoghue (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

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What listeners say about The Pull of the Stars

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  • Overall
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Tedious details

Although I loved Emma Donoghue’s previous books—Room and Akin, I found this novel to be rather tedious with its extreme detail. Perhaps interesting to a midwife or nurse. Listening to to it in Audio where every single word is read made it a lot longer. I stuck with it as I enjoyed the reader but it could have used more of the nurse’s personal life. Room took place mainly in one room, and this book took place in one room with 2 or 3 patients 99% of the time as
well. Perhaps this is a challenge Ms. Donoghue likes to take on? I would have liked to hear more about this flu and more details as to how it affected Ireland and more about the nurse’s background .

3 people found this helpful

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Timely story

Given the current health crisis in the world this is as very timely read. Somehow not a lot has changed in the 100 years since the Spanish flu. Front line workers still work tirelessly to care for the sick and dying, working long hours. There are still too many dying because of lack of health care.
In this story a lot happens in just two days, Julia the main character faces many crisis and an awakening on a personal level. I loved that a real woman of history Dr. Lynn was told in the book. I have researched her story since reading this book.

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In a Nutshell

This is 2020 in a nutshell.

This book is prefect to read during the worldwide pandemic.

it was interesting to see the similarities between past and present(2020).

The characters were interesting, story was great, narrator was the best I heard in awhile.

Happy Listening

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Read it!

Emma Donoghue has the amazing ability to make you fall in love with her characters. This book is no exception. There were times that I felt I was in the room watching the story unfold. So good!

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a good read

I found it slow at first, but totally enjoyed it. A bit gory in places, but truthful.

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Pull of the stars

Pull of the Stars an excellent read. I highly recommend it. Enjoyed the story immensely.

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If you loved "Call the Midwife" this is for you

Considering that this story takes place over 3 days, the characters are so real and complex that they grab your heart and squeeze. For anyone who loved Call the Midwife, the details of the work of the midwife and doctors are compelling and fascinating.
And this book has the scent of serendipity on it. The author says that she began this work in 2018 as an homage to the midwives and doctors who worked through the influenza pandemic a hundred years before. And two years later, as it was being readied at the publishers, our own pandemic started.
If you want to have a glimpse at the heart-wrenching work of our health care workers and what it does to their own lives, this is a good start. And the ending! Only from Ireland could hope be dug out of such despair and tragedy. You might want to pair this book with A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle...if you're Irish enough to live through both of them.

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Disappointing

Gifted this book and kept one based on a recommendation from a friend. Neither I or my friend were able to complete it. A tough read, repetitive and very grim. I appreciate the historic accuracy of the story but in light of the current pandemic, a true life story of an even more difficult time 100 years ago was just too difficult to listen to.

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Great story !!!

A terrific read especially with the world’s current pandemic ... very interesting to hear “any” information about the pandemic of 100 years ago ... great story ... I didn’t want it to end

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Excellent story!

Loved the story. characters were well developed. Narrator was fabulous! Highly recommend this timely novel.

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  • Alexey Badalov
  • 2020-10-25

Pertinent

Listening to this during a pandemic is certainly a different experience. Finishing this book qualifies you to receive a midwife certificate, though the story takes a dip once all the babies are delivered. The narrator sings poorly even when the book says it is supposed to be good.