The Ninth Hour

The Ninth Hour

Book - 2017
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Baker & Taylor
A portrait of the Irish-American experience is presented through the story of an Irish immigrant's suicide and how it reverberates through innumerable lives in early 20th-century Catholic Brooklyn. By the National Book Award-winning author of Charming Billy.

McMillan Palgrave

A magnificent new novel from one of America’s finest writersa powerfully affecting story spanning the twentieth century of a widow and her daughter and the nuns who serve their Irish-American community in Brooklyn.

On a dim winter afternoon, a young Irish immigrant opens the gas taps in his Brooklyn tenement. He is determined to prove—to the subway bosses who have recently fired him, to his badgering, pregnant wife—“that the hours of his life belong to himself alone.” In the aftermath of the fire that follows, Sister St. Savior, an aging nun appears, unbidden, to direct the way forward for his widow and his unborn child.

We begin deep inside Catholic Brooklyn, in the early part of the twentieth century. Decorum, superstition, and shame collude to erase the man’s brief existence. Yet his suicide, although never spoken of, reverberates through many lives and over the decades testing the limits and the demands of love and sacrifice, of forgiveness and forgetfulness, even through multiple generations.

The characters we meet, from Sally, the unborn baby at the beginning of the novel, who becomes the center of the story to the nuns whose personalities we come to know and love to the neighborhood families with whose lives they are entwined, are all rendered with extraordinary sympathy and McDermott’s trademark lucidity and intelligence. Alice McDermott’s The Ninth Hour is a crowning achievement by one of the premiere writers at work in America today.



Baker
& Taylor

A portrait of the Irish-American experience is presented through the story of an Irish immigrant's suicide and how it reverberates through innumerable lives in early twentieth-century Catholic Brooklyn.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374280147
9780374712174
Branch Call Number: FICTION MCDERMOTT 2017
Characteristics: pages cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

McDermott, a National Book Award winner and Pulitzer finalist, returns with a historical novel about the Irish American experience spanning the twentieth century.


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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.

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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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