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The Pull of the Stars
The Pull of the Stars: A Novel | Emma Donoghue
108 posts | 101 read | 134 to read
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.
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Victoriahoperose
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Pickpick

It‘s hard to believe that this was actually written before the pandemic started. This book is so very relevant to what we have been through in the last few years having gone through life in a pandemic. This is about the influenza outbreak in Ireland and how it effected the nurses and specifically women in the maternity ward. This is a very hard boon to read but incredibly well written and researched and so very relatable.

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ozma.of.oz
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🏨 Seemed a fitting topic after the week I‘ve had. 😂

1. Does an apple a day keep the doctor away? Only if you aim well enough.
2. ❤️❤️❤️
3. Tagged and stacked! Although it‘s a pandemic book, so I‘ll probably wait a while before getting to it.

#SundayFunday Hope you all have a good weekend!

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LaurenMags
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Pickpick

Novel that takes place in Dublin in 1918 over 3 days in a maternity ward during the great flu. After reading this I want to learn more about the rebel doctor, Kathleen Lynn. The ending felt a little rushed but I'm not sure if it was meant to be that way because of how quickly things can change during that time period. I think I would have enjoyed this more if we weren't currently going through our own pandemic.

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jlhammar
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Gripping historical fiction set in a Dublin maternity ward during the 1918 flu pandemic. So good!

#Hospital #SavvySettings
@Eggs @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

Eggs 🖤Love Donoghue🤍 4mo
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Rachiiebookdragon
Pickpick

I listened to the audiobook of this from my library and I found it very interesting to listen to albeit gory at times. Read #ReadHarderChallenge2022 and #52BookClubReadingChallenge2022 4/5

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Amiable
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Pickpick

Book 3 from my #NYWD22 #newyearwhodis reading list. I maybe should have waited a bit to tackle this one. It takes place over 3 days in a maternity ward at a Dublin hospital during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Given that I‘ve been working in a hospital for the past 2 years of this current pandemic, I‘m feeling some PTSD with this read. And that first chapter of 98 straight pages without a break? OOF. But still a pick. Glad I read it. I think.

monalyisha If you could‘ve heard the noise I just made (!) — an involuntary, empathetic exhale. My heart goes out. 6mo
Singout Wow, maybe I should have put a warning on that one! I honestly never thought of that. Yes, the parallels between the Spanish Flu and Covid are pretty real, especially for a heath worker. (Hopefully you're not supervised by crabby nuns!) I liked the info about the epidemic (maybe too much gory detail) and the resilience of the women--apparently Dr. Lynn was a real person, and a member of the Sinn Fein. 5mo
Amiable @Singout @monalysha I‘ve been super interested in the 1918 epidemic for most of my life—my great-grandmother, who died when I was 14, lived through it and told us stories about how horrible it was. So I‘m usually always up for a book about the topic. I thought I was ready for this even though we‘re still dealing with this pandemic. Clearly I was wrong. Clearly I‘m an idiot. 🙄😀 (edited) 5mo
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DinoMom
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Thanks for the tag @BeeMagical
1) reading goals - I have two read at least two books off my TBR shelf each time before I go buy a new book

2) progress

3) I am enjoying the tagged booked. I am not wowed by it but it is a good read.

@DebbieGrillo @ShelleyBooksie

#thoughtfulthursday @MoonWitch94

CBee I like your reading goal! I should really do the same 🧐 6mo
IndoorDame Love that reading goal! I was thinking of something similar like trying to adapt the 1 in 1 out closet organizing principle to my shelves so I can slowly build a library just of things I‘ve read and want to reread 6mo
5feet.of.fury That is a good goal! 6mo
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DinoMom @CBee @IndoorDame @5feet.of.fury Going to try and stick to this plan… my TBR book shelf is plentiful …. But so hard not by new ones. Especially as last year I did a no book buying for myself year! Now I just want to buy all the reads. Lol! 6mo
IndoorDame @DinoMom ooh, it is really hard not to indulge after a no buy stretch. But you can do it! You set a really sensible goal 6mo
CBee @DinoMom I‘m impressed you made it a whole year without buying any books! That‘s amazing! 6mo
DinoMom @CBee just for myself, I got my book buying fix but doing swaps, gifts for others and for my son. But it was super hard not to buy for me! I avoided bookstores and just shopped online! Lol 6mo
CBee @DinoMom still admirable!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 6mo
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DinoMom
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The kid is having a long play with bath-bombs kinda bath and I am trying to get one last read in for 2021. Borrowed this from @ShelleyBooksie after it went through some others at our bookclub, now it is my turn. They all loved it so hopefully I will as well.

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Slajaunie
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#wondrouswednesday. @Eggs 1. Making it through the year without being committed. 2. The one tagged was really good. 3. A change in job or job related circumstances. Thanks for the tag @Crazeedi @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @BookNAround

Eggs This is on my TBR! Thanks for joining in and Happy New year 🎈 6mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Yes to number one!! 6mo
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Itchyfeetreader
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Pickpick

This is the book that started me back on a bit of a reading run in may. #12booksin2021 a touching story of war, illness and love.

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arlenefinnigan
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Pickpick

This is an excellent book. Reading a novel set in the 1918 flu pandemic might not be what everyone needs right now, but I found the resonance of it strangely reassuring. It also explores the brutal injustice of the Church-run mother and baby homes, the impact of World War One and the aftermath of the Easter Rising.

arlenefinnigan It ended a bit abruptly and I'd definitely read a sequel, and I want to read more about Kathleen Lynn, the real life 'rebel doctor' who features as a character here. 7mo
CarolynM Sounds interesting. Stacked 🙂 7mo
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arlenefinnigan
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Well, quite.

Bookwomble "All the guidelines were followed", and repeat... 7mo
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Texreader
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Omg I just opened the surprise gift from @Kaylamburson and wow, a book very high on my tbr list!! Thank you so much! No I haven‘t read it so it‘s going on my tbr stack, but I will definitely pass on the #litsylove! @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Awesome ❤️🎁🎉🎊 7mo
Kaylamburson Awww yay! I'm so glad it was already high up on your list!! Enjoy!!! 7mo
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Mccall0113
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Up next. I‘m a sucker for an Irish accent.

BennettBookworm This book is on my Best of list! Loved it 7mo
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arlenefinnigan
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#ReadHarder challenge 21: a historical fiction with a POC or LGBTQ+ protagonist

CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian I loved this book! Hope you enjoy it too. 7mo
AmyG I loved this book, too. Enjoy. 7mo
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Jas16
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Pickpick

This was so good. Being a nurse is difficult enough in ordinary circumstances but being a nurse in 1918 during a pandemic and a world war and helping expectant mothers who are under quarantine when you are understaffed and overextended requires the strength and grace of an extraordinary heroine. Memorable characters and vivid descriptions made this a book I won‘t be forgetting anytime soon.

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kathedron
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Pickpick

I had my hair cut earlier: my stylist has her first baby due at Christmas. I won't be recommending this to her! Set in a makeshift maternity ward in Dublin during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic this is, in a word, relentless. I'm all wrung out now. Totally worth it, though!

kathedron On a lighter note, I learnt that my wrong-way-round daughter was called a "stargazer". Funny, now, 'cause she's into astronomy these days! 9mo
Writeme I loved this book! 8mo
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rachelsbrittain
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Pickpick

A historical fiction novel about a maternity ward during the 1918 flu pandemic, following an Irish nurse put in charge of the ward. I adored this book three-fourths of the way through but then a (SPOILER WARNING) sudden and underdeveloped queer romance devolved into the bury your gays trope. I was initially appalled but after learning the author is a lesbian have more mixed feelings.

TW: still birth, childbirth death, LGBTQ+ character death

Kimberlone LOVED this book, but the romance was so half-baked and came out of nowhere (to me at least) that it almost ruined the book for me. I genuinely thought both characters were so well-sketched but the timeline just made a romance seem so far fetched. 10mo
rachelsbrittain @Kimberlone same! I was so taken aback! 10mo
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Curvybookgirl
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Pickpick

As someone in the nursing profession it was great to read about how things were done in 1918 and what they learnt from the flu pandemic. A bit slow to start but a great read

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Writeme
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Pickpick

This book was amazing! It‘s loosely about the 1918 flu pandemic, but really it‘s about a maternity nurse assigned to help expectant mothers at a London hospital. Beautiful and intense story of some extraordinary women.

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Caroline2
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Ohhh I‘ve been wanting to read this! 😀 99p 👍 #kindledailydeals #99ponkondle

TrishB Thank you 👍🏻 got this one. 13mo
Cathythoughts Good price 👍🏻getting it 13mo
Crazeedi It's very good! @TrishB 13mo
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jenniferw88 Just bought this! 13mo
ShelleyBooksie Soo good! 13mo
TrishB @Crazeedi I think I just kept putting it off! 13mo
Tamra It‘s a great read!! 13mo
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vlwelser
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Pickpick

I loved this book. Imagine being a nurse during a flu pandemic, in the middle of a world war, in a country that's a colony of England and assigned to a makeshift Maternity/Flu ward. It only covers about 3 days but there is so much going on. This writer is amazing. I love all of her books.

#BookSpinBingo free space
@TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Yay!! 13mo
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emmaturi
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Pickpick

This was a brilliant read for me! Set in 1918 in Dublin maternity ward, but the patients also have symptoms of the flu. Nurse Julia battles to save her patients with the help from Bridie, a young volunteer helper and Doctor Kathleen Lynn, a rumoured Rebel on the run from the police. I became quite invested with the three women and also the patients. Just hoping they stay alive, during this pandemic.

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mcctrish
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I have yard work to do but I just want to read this book!!! It‘s such a compelling story

Tamra I love her writing! 14mo
Tattooedteacher Agreed. I 💕 her writing. 14mo
mcctrish @Tamra @Tattoedteacher I do too! I read everything she wrote at one point and now there is a bunch I need to catch up on 14mo
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mcctrish
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Reading this for a book club and I‘m immediately engrossed. But I had to look this ‘white leg‘ up, I could visualize it but had no idea why it happened

ShelleyBooksie I unexpectedly devoured it as well- its such a good story! 14mo
mcctrish @ShelleyBooksie devour is right, I don‘t want to do anything else but read this 14mo
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megnews
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Pickpick

Set in a Dublin maternity ward, this is a timely novel that takes place during the Spanish flu epidemic.

The only thing I‘m not sure of is how I feel about the lack of quotation marks.

mcctrish It‘s odd right? I kept thinking “are you speaking?” 14mo
megnews @mcctrish very odd. I‘ve never read anything else by her. If it‘s her regular style I don‘t know that I want to. Even though I enjoyed this storyline it was weird without quotation marks. 13mo
mcctrish I‘ve read a few of her books but it was ages ago ( Room, Slammerkin, The Sealed Letter ) but I don‘t remember this lack of quotations 🤷🏻‍♀️ 13mo
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BlueStockingReviews
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Pickpick

THE PULL OF THE STARS is an atmospheric, heartbreaking story full of tragedy, compassion and hope. The read is intense and captivating, particularly as it relates to our current unbelievable pandemic. https://www.bluestockingreviews.com/post/the-pull-of-the-stars

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emmaturi
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Still hours of dark to go when I left the hpuse that morning.

#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

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Johanna414
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Pickpick

Ok so maybe my #awesomeapril readathon goals were a little too modest? I finished both of these today, and while they were very, very different from each other - I absolutely loved them both!
@Andrew65

Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏 1y
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Johanna414
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I've got my earbuds in and I'm starting a new audiobook while my husband and father-in-law cut up a dead tree in the back yard. I'm on bonfire duty 😉

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perfectsinner
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Mehso-so

3 star

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Kaylamburson
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Pickpick

Donoghue's writing is phenomenal & instantly transports readers into the thick of the 1918 Pandemic in a quarantined maternity ward (basically a closet-like room with 3 cots). It's clear that Donoghue did her research as every moment is alive with detail & intricate knowledge. Coincidentally written right before COVID & published a few months after it began. There are obvious similarities with quarantines, masks, hospital shortages, and fear. 4/5⭐

Daisey This sounds really good! 1y
Kaylamburson It really was great. Although very somber and hard to read in parts due to vivid medical details... @Daisey 1y
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LaraReads
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Pickpick

Playing catch-up on some reviews for March. Finished this one on St Patrick‘s Day with our annual Irish red ale, so it seemed pretty fitting. This is the harrowing tale of life inside a Dublin maternity ward in 2018. We are smack in the midst of the Spanish flu pandemic, World War I, and the Irish Uprising. It all seemed eerily familiar and often times hit way too close to reality for our lives in 2020. It is also feels very personal to anyone ⬇️

LaraReads serving in the medical community. The price that they each pay every day & the commitment it takes to survive in such a difficult field. Nurse Power represents the best and it is easy to feel connected to her pain & perseverance. #booked2021 #covidheros 1y
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Mmm...Smithwicks 😋🍺 1y
BarbaraTheBibliophage I think I‘m going to love this book. Great pick for the prompt! 1y
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perfectsinner
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I pulled The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue off my shelves. I started this, but didn't make it very far, because I had realized I didn't want to read about a pandemic, whilst in a pandemic. But I think it is time to try it again. I've heard fairly good things so I'll give it another go. I'm hoping I can look past the lack of quotation marks 😶

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Grrlbrarian
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Pickpick

That‘s a #BookSpinBingo with the tagged! The latest by Emma Donoghue is a cracking tale of the 1918 flu pandemic in the maternity ward of a Dublin hospital. It reads like a thriller as Nurse Power (!) fights to save lives big and small. Compulsively readable ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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ManyWordsLater
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Pickpick

Tv babysitter so I can finish this one.
I really liked this one. Easy to read. Interesting characters and situations and it flowed and flowed and flowed.

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Kaylamburson
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Next up! Maybe with the pandemic slowly coming to an end, this book won't be too close to home.

Soubhiville I loved this book! It is sad though. 1y
Kaylamburson Haha I'm sensing I'm totally wrong, @thegirlwiththelibrarybag 😂 1y
Kaylamburson Have to get myself ready to cry! @Soubhiville 1y
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Kdgordon88
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📚Tagged - also a new to me author
🖋 Elizabeth Acevedo, Sarah J. Maas
🎫 My daughter and I just viewed the Oregon Symphony‘s new season event list and decided which ones we‘d like to see. And in late September we are going to the Van Gogh Immersive Experience in Seattle. Fingers crossed that I will be vaccinated by then.

Happy Anniversary on #sundayfunday!

ozma.of.oz Good luck on the vaccination front! And a Van Gogh exhibit sounds absolutely lovely! Thank you for sharing! 1y
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KadeLexical
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The human race settles on terms with every plague in the end, the doctor told her. Or a stalemate, at the least. We muddle along, sharing the earth with each new form of life.

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ShelleyBooksie
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#ireadcanadian. It's Canadian Authors Day!

MsMelissa I liked this one. Hope you enjoy it. 1y
TorieStorieS Love that owl mug!!! 🥰🥰🥰 1y
bibliobliss Yes, love that beautiful mug!! 1y
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charl08

Aren't they any closer to a vaccine, then? She shook her head and her loose braid leapt.
No one's even managed to isolate the bacterium on a slide yet. Perhaps the little bugger's too small for us to see and we'll have to wait for the instrument makers to come up with a stronger microscope, or possibly it's some new form of microbe altogether.
I was bewildered and daunted.
All rather humbling, she added ruefully.

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vivastory
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I had to replace two tires on my car this morning, so to console myself I went book shopping. I've previously only read one Donoghue & didn't particularly care for it, but I've heard nothing but great reviews for her latest so I figured I'd give her a second chance. I also picked up 3 of the Harper Perennial Olive Editions. I love these colorful & simplistic covers. I'm about to start prep for chicken noodle soup for dinner. Perfect for the snow.

MsMelissa Which Donoghue did you read? I‘m hit or miss with her. Loved Slammerkin, and enjoyed Pull of the Stars, but I bailed on Room. 1y
vivastory @MsMelissa It was Frog Music. There were aspects I liked, but other parts felt a bit cliche. I've meant to read Slammerkin 1y
LeahBergen I started Frog Music but didn‘t like it either. I really enjoyed Slammerkin and The Wonder and was a bit “meh” about Room. 1y
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LeahBergen Oh, and it‘s a snowy beef stew day here in my part of Canada. Enjoy that soup! 1y
TheKidUpstairs @MsMelissa I was kinda 'meh' on Room as well, it didn't live up to the hype for me. I've got Slammerkin on the shelf to get to one of these days. @vivastory I know a lot of people who didn't like Frog Music. Pull of the Stars is a very different book, I hope it works better for you! 1y
Ruthiella My dad asked me why I changed mechanics a while back and the real answer was the new mechanic‘s proximity to a Barnes & Nobel within walking distance! (edited) 1y
vivastory @LeahBergen @MsMelissa I get Sarah Waters vibes from the description of Slammerkin, but in a good way 1y
vivastory @LeahBergen Beef stew sounds fantastic! Enjoy! 1y
vivastory @TheKidUpstairs I've been meaning to give her another chance sooner as I read Frog Music several years ago. I'm really looking forward to Pull of the Stars. Interesting to hear all of the indifferent/lukewarm feedback on her popular book 1y
vivastory @Ruthiella 😂 That's exactly where I went today after I left the mechanic. A 💯 legit reason 1y
BarbaraBB Ignore my last question. Harper Perennial is the answer 😉 1y
MsMelissa I don‘t think I want to read Frog Music now even though it‘s on a shelf @LeahBergen @TheKidUpstairs 1y
TheKidUpstairs @MsMelissa i actually liked Frog Music, but I know it's not everyone's cup of tea 1y
batsy I loved Slammerkin, plus The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits and Kissing the Witch (both short story collections) but like @LeahBergen felt meh about Room. I do want to read this one! 1y
readordierachel Sounds like you are salvaging the day just fine! I really loved The Enchanted. And those editions are awesome. 1y
readordierachel *salvaged the day (just realized this was yesterday 🤭) 1y
vivastory @readordierachel It was a good day! Glad to hear that The Enchanted is a good read. I hadn't previously heard of it 1y
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CarolineLovesToRead
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Pickpick

Wow. What a story. Emma Donoghue has a way of making you feel for the characters in all her stories. What an awful time these nurses had and only makes me think, didn't we learn from the past?

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mollyrotondo
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️ This is a tough review. I think this book is well written in the sense that it took a subject I personally don‘t like (grueling childbirth) and kept me turning the page. But setting this maternity ward in 1918 Dublin during the Spanish flu and then barely talking the flu and only giving a barebones picture of the infighting going on in Ireland at this time made me question what the book was really trying to tell me. #bookspinbingo No. 1

Texreader Very well-written review! 1y
mollyrotondo @Texreader Have you read this one too? 1y
Texreader @mollyrotondo No but it‘s on my list so I was very interested in your review 1y
TheAromaofBooks Great progress! 1y
marleed Oh, last month I read a book significantly set in events of 1917-1920, but with no mention of the pandemic. It was published in 2018. I can‘t imagine a book would be set in that time period now without researching and including the impact of the pandemic on its characters. 1y
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Tattooedteacher
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I really enjoyed the audio of this book, as it was read by someone with an Irish accent, which is totally perfect. This is the story of a particular nurse in a maternity/fever ward in Dublin during the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic. I enjoyed the host of mothers to be who were in the ward and the levels of society they represented. I especially loved Bridie Sweeny whose character helped in the development of Nurse Power

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CaitlinR
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Pickpick

Set in WWI Dublin during the influenza pandemic. Julia Power is a midwife who has been tasked with care of infected pregnant women. Over the course of three days we learn their stories. Wonderful characters Brodie Sweeney, a volunteer, and the real Dr. Kathleen Lynn.

The title is from: “influenza delle stelle”, a medieval concept that sickness comes from astrological influences; as we know too well, control of any pandemic seems an illusion.

CaitlinR Image from elemental.medium.com 1y
Tattooedteacher Reading now. Thanks for the title info. 1y
27 likes2 comments
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samantharoberts
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Mehso-so

#UnpopularOpinion but this book just didn‘t do it for me. It was able to keep my interest for the first half, and then I realized not much else happens. There wasn‘t much dialogue between the characters so it‘s hard to feel any connection, but I did like the relationship between Julia and Bridie. I also love how it highlights the incredible strength, knowledge, and hard work of nurses 🙌🏼 #Booked2021 #COVIDHeroes

Cinfhen I agree, not a lot happens but I loved the audio narration....im a sucker for an accent 1y
Cinfhen And it‘s a great choice for #CovidHeroes 💜 1y
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Tamra
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Pickpick

Hits close to home re: pandemic.

Emma has a way of writing that makes the discomfort of situations and characters almost palpable. There is always a sense of tension - in a good way.

Reviewsbylola I loved this one. The flu pandemic has always intrigued me and given the current climate, I was even more fascinated by this book. 1y
Tamra @Reviewsbylola I hadn‘t recalled the context of the novel from the time I placed my library hold so when I began listening it was startlingly relevant. 😳 1y
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Nitpickyabouttrains
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Pickpick

A book about pandemic is hard to read right now. But this one felt personal and timeless.