”This flu was clogging the whole works of the hospital. Not just the hospital, I reminded myself—the whole of Dublin. The whole country. As far as I could tell, the whole world was a machine grinding to a halt. Across the globe, in hundreds of languages, signs were going up urging people to cover their coughs.” – is not a quote from an article about current pandemic. We found this in The Pull of Stars, the book set in times of great influenza.
The Pull of the Stars is a quite gruesome book. Its story spans only through three days, but those three days are spent in an understaffed hospital, in Dublin, ravaged by war and disease.
The story mainly traverses around Julia Power, a nurse working in the maternity ward where expectant mothers who have come down with influenza are segregated together hoping to make out alive with their newborns. She is 30, single and looks after her brother who’s returned home from war.
This book is a strange read in the current day; it has this weird feeling of deja-vu – it makes you realize how similar those two periods are, from measurements taken, to peoples responses to them. This made us think – somebody in the future will be writing the historical fiction about 2020. Do you ever think about it?
As a warning, we have to say that you need a stronger stomach to go through the whole book as the action takes place in the maternity ward and we never read anything so graphical and anatomical about giving birth.
An emotional, sad and eye-opening book.
3.5 out of 5 combined from both of us.
Review by 🧔 & 👩🏻🦰