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Eleven Hours

Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
Length: 5 hrs and 15 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
3.5 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 distress when it does. She knows as well as anyone the severe challenge of childbirth, what it does to the mind and the body.

Eleven Hours is the story of two soon-to-be mothers who, in the midst of a difficult labor, are forced to reckon with their pasts and re-create their futures. Lore must disentangle herself from a love triangle; Franckline must move beyond past traumas to accept the life that's waiting for her.

Pamela Erens moves seamlessly between their begrudging partnership and the memories evoked by so intense an experience: for Lore, of the father of her child and her former best friend; for Franckline, of the family in Haiti from which she's exiled. At turns urgent and lyrical, Erens' novel is a visceral portrait of childbirth and a vivid rendering of the way we approach motherhood - with fear and joy, anguish and awe.

©2016 Pamela Erens (P)2016 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Erens... [creates] one of the most realistic and harrowing portrayals of birth you are likely to encounter in fiction. She has also written an indelible portrait of two women coming to terms with desire, fear, crushing losses and fragile joys that have carved their lives, and who knows what it means to fight every hour, every minute, to take another breath." (New York Times Book Review)

"Exhilarating novel...The writing is candid without being sensational, detailed without being clinical. This admirable novel reminds us that even when childbirth is overseen by caring professionals in state-of-the-art facilities, it still arrives on waves of blood." (Wall Street Journal

"I loved Eleven Hours. In this gorgeous, haunting, slender novel, Pamela Erens creates an intimacy that is all-encompassing." (Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulously read, beautifully written, moving . I

read it and listened to it twice . I highly recommend it, a really deeply good book.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Ending??

So good throughout but then ends abruptly. Maybe just me but I would have liked just a hint to which direction the characters went. Still, quite good!