The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott

Into the Wild

The Ninth Hour Read Online Free - 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 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.

Alice McDermott’s The Ninth Hour is a crowning achievement by one of the premiere writers at work in America today.

Title : The Ninth Hour
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0374280142
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 256 pages


Angela M rated it ★★★★★

September 22, 2017

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 invit...

Annet rated it ★★★★☆

February 02, 2018

But it was at this hour, when the sun was a humming gold at the horizon, or a pale peach, or even just, as now, a gray pearl, that she felt the breath of God warm on her neck. It was at this hour that the whole city smelled to her like the inside of a cathedral - damp stone and cold water and can...

Diane S ☔ rated it ★★★★☆

July 06, 2017

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 neighborho...

Jen rated it ★★★★☆

November 06, 2017

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 cent...

Linda rated it ★★★★★

October 17, 2017

"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, choice...

Dem rated it ★★★☆☆

October 24, 2017

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 Ji...

Karen❄️ rated it ★★★★☆

October 05, 2017

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 tim...

Cheri rated it ★★★★★

October 04, 2017

“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...

Perry rated it ★★★★★

September 28, 2017

My Best Novel of 2017, and a New All-Time Favorite In 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 p...

Diane rated it ★★★★★

October 07, 2017

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 huma...

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