The Ninth Hour

  • by Alice McDermott
  • Narrated by Euan Morton
  • 8 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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!
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- Taryn

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.
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- Richard

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-19-2017
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio