One of my most anticipated books of 2020 was Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue. It was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize this year and I had really hoped that it would be shortlisted as well.
This story takes place during the Spanish Flu in Dublin and as you can imagine there was plenty to relate to as we go through our own pandemic.
This book was about so much more than a pandemic. Julia Power is a nurse on a maternity ward that was literally a storage closet. Nurse Power is attending to three expectant mothers all alone as the hospital is so understaffed.
Bridie shows up as an extra pair of hands and turns out to be a godsend. She has no training and no medical background, but she learns quickly and follows instructions well. The novel takes place over three days and in this time, we learn about all the characters and Bridie is my favourite.
What I love about this book the most is that each character had a purpose and something to tell the reader about the times: the political climate, the role of the Catholic church, the suffering people endured, the aftermath of war, the divisions between class and genders, even how pregnant women (or any woman) were treated. All of it had meaning and I found the story to be quite emotional.
A timely, beautiful and heartbreaking story.
Bookworm Rating: 🐛🐛🐛🐛🐛