As Julia Power makes her way to the hospital for her daily shift, she's surrounded by face-mask-wearing people who flinch at every cough; give fellow pedestrians a wide berth; and nervously read government notices urging them to avoid public places, refrain from shaking hands, and "when in doubt, don't stir out."
But this isn't 2020; it's 1918, and Dublin is gripped by the deadly global flu epidemic. As a nurse and midwife, Julia spends her days treating pregnant women stricken with the flu, striving to tend to their medical and emotional needs and bring their babies safely into the world in an understaffed, overcrowded hospital. This poignant and timely tale unfolds over the course of three days, as Julia and a civilian volunteer fight alongside a remarkable female physician to save their vulnerable patients. The Pull of the Stars
is not always an easy read (expectant parents and squeamish readers should avoid it), but it is a captivating, soul-stirring one about finding hope and celebrating life in dark, troubled times. (KG)