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The Pull of the Stars


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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 bestselling author of The Wonder and Room.

About the Author

Born in Dublin in 1969, Emma Donoghue is an Irish emigrant twice over: she spent eight years in Cambridge, England, before moving to Canada's London, Ontario. She is best known for her novels, which range from the historical (The Wonder, Slammerkin, Life Mask, The Sealed Letter) to the contemporary (Akin, 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; her screen adaptation, directed by Lenny Abrahamson, was nominated for four Academy Awards.


A visceral, harrowing, and revelatory vision of life, death, and love in a time of pandemic. This novel is stunning -- Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven
The Pull of the Stars has a fever dream-like quality . . . as a tender record of humans coping as best they can with a pandemic, it's about as moving and absorbing as it gets * Evening Standard *
A timely, exquisite and unputdownable reminder of love and compassion in the smallest room where women are giving birth and other women are dying and yet love - in all its joy and complexity - still finds a place -- Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Extraordinarily prescient . . . With The Pull of the Stars, [Donoghue] again conjures up a setting that is at once claustrophobic in feel yet epic in sweep * Daily Telegraph *
Emma Donoghue is one of our greatest living prose stylists . . . a must-read novel * The Australian *
In this arresting new page-turner, a Dublin hospital is overwhelmed by victims of a cruel new disease. The year is 1918; the illness is influenza. Donoghue's capable characters leap from crisis to crisis - convulsions, hemorrhages and fevers - stitching together a story that is as timeless as it is urgent * New York Times *
Donoghue writes with such brilliant relish . . . fascinating and resonant * Sunday Times *
Eerily topical, Donoghue's new novel reads like an episode of Call The Midwife set during a pandemic * Mail on Sunday *
An immersive, unforgettable fever-dream of a novel * Times *
Moving, gripping and dazzlingly written * Stylist *
It is rare for such a fast-paced story to be told so beautifully, and the writing is comical & exquisite * Irish Independent *
Emma Donoghue's best novel since Room is a mesmeric, blood, sweat and placenta-soaked story set against the Spanish Flu pandemic * Metro *
Moving and memorable * Daily Mail *
As strong and compelling as Jack in Room and Lib in The Wonder . . . a haunting and finely balanced literary novel -- Sarah Moss * Guardian *
One of the Emerald Isle's most glittering literary lights, Donoghue here delivers a historical fiction turned timely reminder of human resilience * Oprah Magazine, 'Best Books of Summer 2020' *
Enticingly written . . . a felicitous comment on our new times * The Irish Times *
Remarkably prescient * Irish Independent *
Rarely can a novel have been as prescient or as timely as The Pull of the Stars . . . the book flies by like a hospital shift, as drama follows crisis and victory chases tragedy in a never-ending cycle of suffering, joy and bodily fluids * Business Post *
Certainly, the currency of The Pull of the Stars gives it a gripping edge, but at its heart this is a story about friendship, love and compassion in extraordinary times . . . It's an engrossing read. Donoghue's writing is visceral and her female characters strike a powerful chord of humanity that stays with you * Australian Women's Weekly *
Donoghue offers vivid characters and a gripping portrait of a world beset by a pandemic and political uncertainty. A fascinating read in these difficult times. * Booklist *
Donoghue's searing tale . . . Her blunt prose and detailed, painstakingly researched medical descriptions do full justice to the reality of the pandemic and the poverty that helps fuel it. Donoghue's evocation of the 1918 flu, and the valor it demands of health-care workers, will stay with readers * Publishers Weekly *
[Julia and Bridie's] relationship forms the emotional core of a story rich in swift, assured sketches of achingly human characters coping as best they can in extreme circumstances . . . Darkly compelling, illuminated by the light of compassion and tenderness: Donoghue's best novel since Room * Kirkus (starred review) *
Eerily reminiscent of our current global health crisis, The Pull of the Stars brings readers intimately close to a world where health care workers risk it all to keep their patients alive * Time *
Emma Donoghue's latest is getting an early release, and it's clear to understand why: In 1918 at the height of the Great Flu in Ireland, sick, pregnant women are quarantined together in a hospital while a group of overworked nurses tries to navigate their patients through the darkness * Marie Claire *
Timely, punchy and gripping * Evening Standard *
A powerful, persistent, highly detailed and incredibly moving book that speaks through time. Donoghue
is a marvel of a writer
* Press Association *
Emma Donoghue has a gift for taking details from the past and creating believable and absorbing worlds around them * The Tablet *
Emma Donoghue's utterly gripping The Pull of The Stars completed before the pandemic, achieved an eerie relevance with its tale of a Dublin maternity ward at the height of the 1918 Spanish Flu crisis * The Telegraph, 'Book of the Year' *
Emma Donoghue's The Pull of the Stars, set in a Dublin maternity hospital during the 1918 flu pandemic, shows how little our responses have changed * Guardian, 'Book of the Year' *

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