by Emma Donoghue
Reviewed by Linda:
The author of the bestseller Room has written a powerful and gripping work of historical fiction set in Ireland during the deadly 1918 flu pandemic. Julia, a nurse midwife at a Dublin hospital, is working under extremely challenging circumstances in a makeshift ward set up for pregnant women who have come down with the flu. The hospital is running out of supplies and staff are falling ill, but as we have seen in recent days, medical personnel are courageous and resourceful. Julia fights with every trick she can think of to defeat death and save her patients and their unborn children. She is assisted by a teenage volunteer, Bridie, from the nuns’ nearby orphanage. By the end of the book we have learned much about Ireland and the many dangers facing Irish women during that era.