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The Ninth Hour

Alice McDermott

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 wife and unborn child. His suicide, although never spoken of, reverberates through many lives and over the decades, testing the limits and the demands of love and sacrifice. A magnificent new novel from McDermott (Someone, 2013).