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Publisher's Summary

"[Euan Morton's] steady, gentle delivery allows McDermott's elegant prose to shine. It's a quiet story about love and sacrifice that manages to be extremely moving without becoming sentimental or maudlin. Morton's performance similarly brims with emotion but never overflows." (AudioFile magazine)

A magnificent new audiobook 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 audiobook 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, and the audio edition is truly unforgettable.

©2017 Alice McDermott (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Taryn
  • Suffern, NY, United States
  • 10-11-17

My new fav for 2017! Must listen and read!

First off I am a big McDermott fan. This book is my new favorite and definitely my favorite listen of 2017. Her characters are so beautifully crafted, perfectly imperfect as are all human beings. She brings you right back to the time period, the sights, sounds, smells, emotions. I loved the narration, but now that I finished listening I am going to have to read the hard copy. I need to savor what I may have missed. This is a MUST LISTEN for 2017!

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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McDermott continues to delight.

I have read all of Alice McDermott's novels and each one surpasses her previous works. The character of Sally is complex, a product of her mother's strong work ethic and her exposure to the good Little Sisters of the Poor. Having grown up in a city with their presence, I can attest to their quiet humility and compassion in treating the elderly. Even the characters who were less than central to the story are carefully drawn and intriguing. Wonderful book!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Pure magic

A gentle simple story beautifully written and beautifully performed
McDermott gives us characters of such quiet strength
What a wonderful read

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard
  • Milwaukee, WI, United States
  • 10-11-17

More, Please!

The writing was beautiful, almost like creating paintings with words. Yet the story seemed oddly limited. After creating a world for finely drawn characters, I expected a story that had more depth.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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I Loved it

I wish I were articulate and clever in writing reviews. I am not. Not very often do I take the time to write anything about a book. Usually, I just use stars. But this book gripped me and kept me paying attention throughout. Often, I went back to listen to parts a second time. I wanted to be sure I was getting it all. I keep a list of books to listen to (or read) again. This title is going on that list! I loved it!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • MKW
  • Cary, NC USA
  • 10-20-17

delightful writing

This was my first Alice McDermott novel and I was delightfully surprised. Her writing is wonderful, and the story quite engrossing. I found out about the novel via her interview with Diane Rehm on NPR, which is also very interesting and expands upon the novel with more historical information about the nursing sisters. Part of what drew me to the novel is an interest in the contemplative spiritual life, regardless of type/religion, and here the author does draw us into the inner lives of several Catholic Sisters in a way that is interesting not only from a story perspective but also a theological one--without being heavy handed. I enjoyed it immensely. I did find the narrator to be a detraction however-- the voice used for the Sisters just didn't seem to match the characters, in my opinion, and the narrator's accent went in and out which is distracting.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Glorious

Alice McDermott, you do it every time. Such beauty. Never wanted it to end. I will be listening to Charming Billy next. Read it when it came out but if it is as lovely as The Ninth Hour it will be a gift to myself.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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A tedious read...

This was a very tedious story —much like the masochistic and claustrophobic lives of most of the characters. Hi

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Another good book ruined by bad narration.

Why on earth did they hire a male narrator for this book? Good book ruined by a bad narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful