Friday, March 19, 2021

Audio Review: The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

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 odds.

Hardcover, 295 pages
Published July 21st 2020
by Little, Brown and Company
3/5 stars

My second book by Canadian author, Emma Donoghue was sent to the publishers just as covid hit a year ago.  How is that for timing especially given this book's theme.

I ended up going the audio route, lack of quotation marks drives me antsy and it was either that or pull a DNF. The narrator was Emma Lowe and she did a great job bringing the story to life.

The Pull of the Stars was atmospheric in that the author vividly described the setting, which is mostly at an infectious maternity ward.  Also this book takes place over the course of three heart wrenching days with nurse Julia and a volunteer to help get through those days.  I loved the compassion shown not just with the patients but towards each other, the developing friendship and Julia's plight at home. Though Julia and Bridie are fictional Dr Lynn is based on a real person, I would have loved to known more about her.

The Pull of the Stars was an emotional read for me, especially as it paralleled with this past year.  The medical conditions during that time made me very grateful for the time I had my kids in.

I struggled though, with the plot and pacing. While I know I am going against popular opinion there was just too much medical jargon and by the time the story picked up somewhat the end was in sight. All in all this was an okay read, educational and sad.

This book was from my personal library and part of my 2021 Reading Off My Shelf Challenge

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