The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott

The Ninth Hour

A magnificent new novel from one of America’s finest writers—a 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 hi...

Details The Ninth Hour

TitleThe Ninth Hour
Release DateSep 19th, 2017
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Religion, Literary Fiction, New York

Reviews The Ninth Hour

  • Angela M
    Alice McDermott is one of my very favorite writers. I found in her new novel the same subtle, quiet storytelling with simple prose, descriptions that defy you to stay in your present place and send you to this place, this Catholic, Irish-American Brooklyn in the early twentieth century. She invites you through her ordinary characters living their everyday lives in spite of their flaws, to see the extraordinary things of our humanity. This is a st...
  • Diane S ☔
    I absolutely adore this author, and have been waiting for a few years for this her next offering. Her novels aren't suspense filled, no thrill a minute, no car chases or knife wielding psychopaths, just slices of life in all it's messy permutations. Early twentieth century, Brooklyn, a neighborhood of Irish Catholics during a time period when most medical care was performed by nuns, in this case the Little Nursing Sisters of the sick poor, the on...
  • Jen
    I went into this blind - having only skimmed over some reviews but trusting my GR friend's high ratings.So, little did I know that as dark as this starts off and moments during, McDermott's prose rubs off like a balm for both the spirit and the soul.It starts with a suicide in the early 20th century. The darkness just before death and that which immediately follows. Nuns are brought in to help those grieving; those dying.This is mostly Sally's st...
  • Linda
    "Fairness demanded that grief should find succor, that wounds should heal, insult and confusion find recompense and certainty, that every living person God had made should not, willy-nilly, be forever unmade."And when the suffocating weight of despair visits upon the souls of the hopeless, choices will fit into the maze of forever. Jim sends his young wife, Annie, out the door of their delapitated Brooklyn tenement in order to do the weekly shopp...
  • Dem
    The Ninth Hour a story by Alice McDermott is well written vivid and an interesting insight into 20th Century Irish Catholic Brooklyn and while I found the book well written prose wise I did find the novel quite disjointed and at times difficult to follow. The Story starts out quite strong with Jim a young Irish immigrant recently fired from his job as a subway motorman takes his own life in the Brooklyn apartment he rents with his pregnant wife A...
  • Karen❄️
    4.5 from me for this book written by an author whose work I have never read before. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the writing!This book starts off with the suicide of a man who leaves behind a pregnant wife. The story is a coming of age story of the girl born to this woman, much of their time spent inside an Irish Catholic convent in Brooklyn, with The Little Nursing Sisters of the Sick Poor. The Ninth Hour is the afternoon hour of prayer.Il...
  • Cheri
    “It was a dark and dank day altogether: cold spitting rain in the morning and a low, steel gray sky the rest of the afternoon.” Two weeks ago, Jim was working as a trainman for the BRT. But he felt he should be the master of his own time, and so he took that liberty, so convinced was he of his inalienable right to refuse the constraints of time. “Sometimes just the pleasure of being an hour or two late was enough to remind him that he, at l...
  • Annet
    Impressive...Rather dark and rather hopeful. And oh.... those Sisters... need to read more of this author. On a gloomy February afternoon in Brooklyn, Jim sends his wife Annie out to do the shopping before dark falls. He seals their meagre apartment, unhooks the gas tube inside the oven and inhales...Sister St. Saviour, a Little Nursing Sister of the Sick Poor, catches the scent of fire foused with water and hurries to the scene: a gathered crowd...
  • Perry
    My Best Novel of 2017, and a New All-Time FavoriteIn the middle of something at work, I will not have time to put into writing a full review until the weekend. Yet, I'm bursting to rave about this novel and recommend it as a must. The book is named for the hour of afternoon prayer, and God is a prevalent presence. Yet, this parochial novel's reach is as universal as Graham Greene's The End of the Affair, and Joyce's Dubliners. I'd rank it with th...
  • Diane Barnes
    Oh, how I loved these nuns! The Little Sisters of the Sick Poor, spending their lives nursing and providing for the needs of poor people in turn of the century Brooklyn, NY. It wasn't easy, but they did what they could, given the bounds of the Catholic Church, the Priests, lack of money, and human nature. Of course, that meant that sometimes rules had to be broken.Sister St. Savior has no problem with this. She even has a ledger where she keeps a...