The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott

The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott

"Before reading this book, I had never read anything by Alice McDermott ... and now, I want to read everything she's ever written.  When a young Irish immigrant commits suicide, his pregnant widow is taken in by the nuns of the neighborhood convent, and over the years, the nuns become a source of support for the widow, her daughter, and even her grandchildren.  The story deals with big themes- faith, personal sacrifice and the effects of even small decisions.  But what's most striking is McDermott's ability to capture the sheer amount of life in even the quietest scenes.  Stunning."  - Recommended by Erika

The Ninth Hour: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374280147
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 19th, 2017

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.