The Ninth Hour

The Ninth Hour

Book - 2017
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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.
On a dim winter afternoon in Catholic Brooklyn, a young Irish immigrant opens the gas taps in his Brooklyn tenement. 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. His suicide reverberates over the decades as decorum, superstition and shame collude to erase the man's brief existence.
Publisher: New York :, Farrar, Straus and Giroux,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374280147
0374280142
Characteristics: 247 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: 9th hour

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ontherideau Jun 01, 2018

These nuns were feminists in their own way, seemingly subservient but accomplishing goals in their sisterhood. There are likely people alive today because of care given to a grandmother long ago by a nun- and at no cost to the health care system.

DBRL_ANNEG May 31, 2018

Quiet little novel that follows an Irish-American widow and her daughter and the nuns who helped them get by in the early years of 20th century Brooklyn. The story, heavily wrapped in the Catholicism of the time, reminded me some of the book "Brooklyn" by Colm Toibin, though it was a little less dreary. Readers who enjoy stories told from multiple perspectives will want to check this one out.

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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