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The Pull of the Stars: A Novel (CD-Audio)

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The Pull of the Stars: A Novel Cover Image
By Emma Donoghue, Emma Lowe (Read by)
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Staff Reviews

You might think reading a historical novel about the 1918 flu pandemic is leaning in a bit too much as we experience the COVID19 global pandemic, but what Donoghue has done with The Pull of the Stars is to allow us to pull back, reexamine, and frame what we are living through today with what happened one hundred years ago. This book tells the story of 3 days in a maternity ward in Dublin, Ireland from the viewpoint of the midwife tasked with taking care of pregnant women with the flu. As we have come to expect from Donoghue's historical fiction, the detail is fascinatingly intense, the characters quite remarkable, and the story immersive.

— Rachel Watkins


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 odds.

About the Author

Born in Dublin in 1969, Emma Donoghue is an Irish emigrant twice over: she spent eight years in Cambridge doing a PhD in eighteenth-century literature before moving to London, Ontario, where she lives with her partner and their two children. She also migrates between genres, writing literary history, biography, stage and radio plays as well as fairy tales and short stories. She is best known for her novels, which range from the historical (Slammerkin, Life Mask, Landing, The Sealed Letter) to the contemporary (Stir-Fry, Hood, Landing). Her international bestseller Room was a New York Times Best Book of 2010 and was a finalist for the Man Booker, Commonwealth, and Orange Prizes. For more information, visit
Product Details
ISBN: 9781549188909
ISBN-10: 1549188909
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Publication Date: July 21st, 2020