From National Book Award-winner and Pulitzer Prize Finalist Alice McDermott, The Ninth Hour is the critically-acclaimed "haunting and vivid portrait of an Irish Catholic clan in early twentieth century America" (The Associated Press).
One of TIME Magazine's Top Ten Novels of the Year
A 2017 Kirkus Prize Finalist
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book
On a dim winter afternoon, a young Irish immigrant opens a gas tap in his Brooklyn tenement. He is determined to prove--to the subway bosses who have recently fired him, to his pregnant wife--that "the hours of his life . . . belonged to himself alone." In the aftermath of the fire that follows, Sister St. Saviour, an aging nun, a Little Nursing Sister of the Sick Poor, appears, unbidden, to direct the way forward for his widow and his unborn child.
In Catholic Brooklyn in the early part of the twentieth century, decorum, superstition, and shame collude to erase the man's brief existence, and yet his suicide, though never spoken of, reverberates through many lives--testing the limits and the demands of love and sacrifice, of forgiveness and forgetfulness, even through multiple generations. Rendered with remarkable delicacy, heart, and intelligence, Alice McDermott's The Ninth Hour is a crowning achievement of one of the finest American writers at work today.
- ISBN-13: 9781250192745
- ISBN-10: 1250192749
- Publisher: Book Depot
- Publish Date: April 2019
Book clubs: New in paperback
Jason Fagone’s The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies documents the remarkable life of Elizebeth Smith, a Shakespearean scholar who was instrumental in the development of cryptology and, later, its use during World War II. In the Prohibition era, Smith employed her expertise to nab bootleggers, but with the arrival of the war, Smith and her husband, cryptologist William Friedman, employed the science to decipher codes used by the Germans and the Japanese. Fagone does a wonderful job of explaining the fundamentals of cryptology, and he captures the tension that Smith and Friedman experienced as they took on the demands of covert assignments. Spanning both world wars as it traces the course of Smith’s amazing career and the development of her work, Fagone’s fascinating book will beguile history buffs and suspense fans as both an intriguing tale of espionage and a compassionate chronicle of a marriage.
A CLOISTERED LIFE
A poignant story of the power of family and the resilience of the human spirit, Alice McDermott’s The Ninth Hour takes place in Brooklyn in the early 1900s. Pregnant and alone, Annie, an Irish immigrant whose husband has committed suicide, goes to work in the laundry at the convent of the Little Nursing Sisters of the Sick Poor. When Annie gives birth to a daughter, Sally, the nuns assist her with the upbringing of the child. Following Sally through her teenage years and beyond, as she joins the church and helps the sisters tend to the needy, the novel offers an unforgettable look at the lives of the city’s struggling residents and the nature of faith. This is the eighth book from National Book Award winner McDermott, and as always, her prose is luminous, and her ability to convincingly portray a wide cast of characters brings a wonderful authenticity to the book. Chosen by Time as one of their “Top 10 Novels of 2017,” this is a moving work from one of the nation’s most important writers.
TOP PICK FOR BOOK CLUBS
With In the Midst of Winter, Isabel Allende delivers a searing novel about the unexpected bond that arises between three unlikely companions after they become embroiled in a murder. During a blizzard that pummels Brooklyn, university professor Richard Bowmaster is involved in a car crash with Evelyn Ortega, an undocumented Guatemalan woman working as a nanny. The collision has serious repercussions (involving a dead body) for Evelyn, who soon arrives, terrified, at Richard’s apartment. For help in dealing with the desperate woman, Richard enlists Lucia Maraz, a fellow academic from Chile. When they learn about Evelyn’s past and the violence that tore her family apart, they take steps to assist her. Their remarkable plan makes the book something of a thriller—one that’s marked by hints of romance and Allende’s wise insights into the human heart. This compelling and timely novel—Allende’s 21st—finds the author at the top of her game.