The Ninth Hour

The Ninth Hour

Book - 2017 | First edition
Average Rating:
5
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On a dim winter afternoon, a young Irish immigrant opens the gas taps in his Brooklyn tenement. In the aftermath of the fire that follows, the aging nun Sister St. Savior appears, unbidden, to direct the way forward for his pregnant widow. In early twentieth century Catholic Brooklyn, decorum, superstition, and shame collude to erase the man's brief existence. His suicide, although never spoken of, reverberates through many lives across multiple generations, testing the limits and demands of love and sacrifice, forgiveness and forgetfulness.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 0374280142 (hardcover)
9780374280147 (hardcover)
Branch Call Number: FIC MCDERMOTT
Characteristics: 247 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: 9th hour

Opinion

From Library Staff

A quiet, deeply moving portrait of life in an Irish immigrant community in Brooklyn in the early twentieth century. McDermott writes with clear-eyed precision about both the beauty and wretchedness of daily life.

List - Best Fiction 2017
BestBooksKCLS Oct 19, 2017

A quiet, deeply moving portrait of life in an Irish immigrant community in Brooklyn in the early twentieth century. McDermott writes with clear-eyed precision about both the beauty and wretchedness of daily life.


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p
posie12
Mar 25, 2018

I found the book a compelling read. The work of the nursing nuns interesting, but their motivation and personalities are often not what you would expect.

m
Margush
Jan 31, 2018

Couldn't get past first 20 pages telling about the same event over and over again. Gloomy and depressing read.

Nicr Nov 20, 2017

In the early twentieth century, a young man commits suicide, leaving his pregnant wife to support herself by laboring in the laundry of a convent. McDermott's novel vividly recounts the lives of Annie, her very interesting daughter Sally, their neighbors, and the nuns who help raise Sally and serve their Irish-American community. Seamless and absorbing, with an evocative use of "we" as the narrative voice. McDermott is a master of this material.

g
geordie18
Oct 12, 2017

I was totally immersed in this novel. It was a fascinating tale, in which nuns were presented as real people. The story of the young widow, Annie, and her daughter Sally was also very compelling. A quiet , contemplative novel, full of feeling.

l
laphampeak
Oct 08, 2017

When I finished this novel I felt a strong sense of satisfaction - not from a light and fun read but satisfaction in reading the author's strong sense of descriptions of place, events, and time. The part in the story that gives account of the basement laundry makes me actually sense, literally, the smell, the sight, and the feeling of being there. This feeling continued throughout. I was drawn in like I was actually living alongside the characters as the author spins an interesting tale.

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