Eleven Hours by Pamela Erens

Eleven Hours

Lore arrives at the hospital alone—no husband, no partner, no friends. Her birth plan is explicit: she wants no fetal monitor, no IV, no epidural. Franckline, a nurse in the maternity ward—herself on the verge of showing—is patient with the young woman. She knows what it’s like to worry that something might go wrong, and she understands the pain when it does. She knows as well as anyone the severe challenge of childbirth, what it does to ...

Details Eleven Hours

TitleEleven Hours
Release DateMay 2nd, 2016
PublisherTin House
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Adult Fiction, Adult, Literary Fiction

Reviews Eleven Hours

  • Emily May
    “In her questioning eyes her story of pain is spilling silently out. But Lore does not want to know that story. There is time, right now, for her pain only.” DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU ARE PREGNANT.Phew, now we got that out of the way: this tiny book was pretty amazing. I spotted it around mid-May and was curious. But I was also 37 weeks pregnant and it seemed like it might be a bad idea. I'm glad I paid attention to that gut feeling because Ele...
  • Richard Derus
    Rating: 4.5* of five, rounded upThe Publisher Says: Lore arrives at the hospital alone—no husband, no partner, no friends. Her birth plan is explicit: she wants no fetal monitor, no IV, no epidural. Franckline, a nurse in the maternity ward—herself on the verge of showing—is patient with the young woman. She knows what it’s like to worry that something might go wrong, and she understands the pain when it does. She knows as well as anyone ...
  • Drew
    “She’s in labor,” Franckline explains, calmly, and the articulation of the obvious makes the disproving woman’s eyes lose their sharpness. She tips her head in acquiescence and turns to her friend. “She’s going to have a baby.” This was a strange little book - less than 200 pages, following two pregnant women as they become close at a hospital where one is about to give birth. There were no chapter breaks and the narratives flickere...
  • Jessica Woodbury
    I was complaining with some reader friends about how there are hardly any books that write about pregnancy or birth in a way that feels real when one of them mentioned ELEVEN HOURS as an exception. I'm frustrated with how pregnant women are treated in books and movies (always noble, always rubbing their bellies) and Tin House kindly sent me a copy when they saw our conversation. This book is just what it appears to be, the story of one woman's bi...
  • Jill
    Birth is the world’s most universal experience. We’ve either given birth or we’ve been born…yet strangely, there are no novels that I know of that focus on the labor experience.Pamela Erens takes on that experience in Eleven Hours. I’ve read this author before – loved her debut novel, The Understory, and her second book, The Virgins. I know I can count on Ms. Erens to create poignant and unflinchingly vivid scenes. She does succeed in...
  • Elizabeth
    I am a home birth midwife. I liked this book a lot...for a time. it presented a very realistic view of hospital birth. and the back stories of these two women were very interesting and drew me in. the end became alarmist and presented a very rare emergency, which made me mad because it feels like it just plays into the scare tactics done to women to keep them in line. a good and quick read though.
  • Rachel
    Beautifully written book. I randomly found it on the New Books shelf at my local library. Strange that I even wanted to read it, since I don't have much desire to be pregnant or have children. But this book totally pulled me in and even made me cry a little! I felt like I was really there, going through everything with the characters.
  • Claire Fuller
    Really powerful story about labour, and why Lore is delivering her baby alone, and the worries the midwife has both for the woman she is looking after, and herself. It was the most perfect (and excruciating) description of pain I've ever read. Highly recommended, but perhaps, if you're pregnant, only read it after you've delivered.
  • Sophfronia Scott
    Received this book as an ARC from Tin House Books.Destiny would have it that when two people meet, especially when they are of disparate personalities and cultures as Lore and Franckline, the main characters created by Pamela Erens for her third novel, Eleven Hours, they have something to learn from each other. Perhaps there’s a need, a bit of karma they have to work out between themselves. Lore, a young white teacher, arrives alone at the mate...
  • Liz
    I feel safe in saying that every woman who has been responsible for growing a fetus for approximately nine months and then delivering that precious new person into the world will find this short novel, Eleven Hours precious. Most women who have been pregnant remember that time as one that is unique, life changing, and both joyous and full of fear, and sometimes desperation. A young woman named Lore enters a NYC hospital alone and meets her delive...
  • Darcy
    I second the other reviewers who recommend not reading this if you're pregnant or hoping to be sometime soon. No pulling punches here. But at six weeks postpartum, I was absolutely riveted by this lightning-fast account of a woman named Lore's labor where we gradually learn more and more about her background, as well as the background of her nurse, a Haitian immigrant. I found so many things in here to be spot on as I reflected on my labor, like ...
  • Sarah
    What a wonderful, visceral book. Review up soon.
  • Toby
    This is really quite special. Powerful, exhilarating, intense, urgent, harrowing - all pull quotes from my copy and all entirely accurate. Written with great skill and human insight, this unexpected pleasure will surely stay with me for a long time.
  • Liz Kay
    I fell in love with Erens' writing in The Virgins, and while this book is a completely different animal, what it shares with her previous novel is that once again, Erens has set herself a seemingly impossible task. In The Virgins, Erens chose for her narrator a character that existed only on the obsessive periphery of the protagonists, and must admit then that much of the story is only his own invention. In Eleven Hours, Erens limits herself to o...
  • Len Joy
    This is a masterpiece. A recently separated woman, Lore, checks into the hospital alone to deliver her first baby. She is assisted by Haitian immigrant nurse, Franckline. This book is literally told in real time. It takes about eleven hours to read (I’m slow) and it is probably one of the few books where the present tense is clearly the right tense to use. Erens skillfully weaves the two women’s stories together. We glide from one perspective...
  • Sharlene
    Now if you're pregnant (especially w your 1st), don't read this. And as someone who's already had two, it was still a very emotional read. Lore arrives at the hospital, all alone, feeling like she's going to give birth at any second but she's just 3cm along. Her nurse Franckline is herself pregnant, something she wasn't expecting and something she worries about. Such lyrical writing as we follow these 2 women through labor, through their past
  • Rebecca McPhedran
    Both Lore and Franckline are pregnant. Lore has just come into the hospital to have her baby. She is alone, and distant. Franckline is newly pregnant, and worries about telling her husband. She doesn't want to disappoint him, or bring him more heartache. They are caught in this beautiful dance, as Lore's child is about to be born. A technical dance of control, and a need for connection in one of the most isolating times in a womans life. A viscer...
  • Sharon
    Tin House Books and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of Eleven Hours, in exchange for an honest review.Lore Tannebaum has arrived at the hospital to have her baby, but she is adamant that it be on her terms. No fetal monitor and no IV, she insists. Franckline, her labor and delivery nurse who is pregnant herself, helps to see Lore through the eleven hours at the hospital before the birth.I just never felt any connection to the charac...
  • Chaitra
    It was fantastic, and I'm truly grateful I'm not pregnant as I read this. I delivered my boy 2.5 years ago, and still winced with remembered pain with every contraction Lore faced. It's a partial character study which mentions the possibility of having not enough time to know anyone's story within the time allotted after the start of labor pains until the delivery. But we still get enough of an insight into the two women; Lore, the single mom-to-...
  • Ylenia
    3.5 starsI tried to escape my comfort zone for a day or two with this book, because it deals with a topic (pregnancy) that I tend to avoid. Even writing that word made me cringe. I'm writing this a week after I finished it and it's difficult to even recall the names of the two women involved. It was one of those books that you really enjoyed while you were reading it but then you realize that something very important was missing; the whole POINT ...
  • Laura Nowlin
    4.5 I have two minor complaints about this book. Spacing could have been used to clarify when we were moving from one main characters head to another's. There were points where the narration shifted perspective so suddenly that was confusing and took me out of the story.My second complaint is that a *little* more closure would be nice. I understand that thematically, much of the book is about how we're all just ships passing in the night, but aga...
  • Avital
    This is a very smart book in many ways. The frame of eleven-hours, the two interesting young women in different stages of relationships and possible motherhood, and the way the past is weaved together with the present. Pamela Erens shows not only the women, but also where they come from, and gradually, their inner worlds open up along with the body that gives birth. The ending is admirable-it leaves this fictional world exactly at the right point...
  • Jessica Jernigan
    Beautiful and ugly and devastating. I can’t remember ever having such a strong physical reaction to prose before. Obviously, childbirth is a visceral subject, but Erens does not flinch. Not once. This is a heroic work of fiction.
  • Sarah
    Extremely quick read. I enjoyed what I read, but felt like I read the first half of a book that I'll never know the ending to.
  • Tudor Vlad
    The realism in this book is terrifying and sickening.
  • AdiTurbo
    No matter what any imaginative artist can come up with, there is no greater drama than childbirth. This novella follows two women - one of which is a young single woman giving birth, and the other - a Haitian-born nurse who takes care of her during the labor, and is also pregnant after already losing two babies. The meeting between the two strangers quickly becomes a connection of heart and soul. The two begin to communicate without need of words...
  • Becky
    This is a thoroughly intriguing book. The title, Eleven Hours, is based on the 11 hours Lore, the main character, is in labor. The reader is taken back and forth between the hospital and Lore in her current labor back to how she ended up in the hospital. It is her story of love, lost love, and why she is in labor with no spouse/partner to help her through the battle. But it's also the story of her nurse, her pregnancy, and her backstory as well. ...
  • Kimberly
    I'm always drawn to books about childbirth and I really wanted to like this book a lot, but I just didn't really enjoy it. It did capture me enough though that I had to finish reading it to find out what happens, but then it left me hanging with no definite ending. I am not a fan of this kind of ending. I feel like I invest a lot of time into characters and I want to know what happens to them in the end so I feel like I can put the book away in p...
  • Darcy
    I sort of liked Lore. She was lost and had been betrayed. Part of me wonders if Julia knew what she was doing all the time and was hoping to have some sort of a menage relationship with all of them. One where she could flit in and out, sort of have her cake and eat it too.I sort of don't blame Lore and what she told Asa when he finally came to see her. He had been betraying her all along. I wonder too if he wanted a relationship with both women, ...