Colts Neck Library Book Club: The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermottThursday July 11, 2019
7:00 PM until 8:30 PM
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 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.
This book discussion will be moderated by Colts Neck Librarian Stephanie Laurino. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome to attend, however registration is preferred. Stop by or call the library to reserve your copy of the book today.
Location: Colts Neck
to go to the Monmouth County Library