Emma Donoghue – The Pull of the Stars
Third time’s the charm, and we’re diving into Emma Donoghue‘s ‘The Pull of the Stars’, a fictional story that takes place in an infected maternity ward during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Ireland, spanning 3 fast-paced days. Themes include living during a pandemic, science vs. superstition, sexual education, feminism/women’s rights, religion, and more!
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 an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city centre, where expectant mothers who have come down with the terrible new flu are quarantined. 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, carers and mothers alike somehow do their impossible work.