Review of The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott

Hello Readers,

Oh what a book. The Ninth Hour was quiet and subtle and I loved it for that. I knew almost nothing about the book going into it except that I had seen its dramatic cover a few times on Instagram. Reading the jacket description did not give me very much insight either, so when I received the book I was excited to jump in. I am realizing something about myself and that is that I love books about everyday people living their lives in everyday circumstances. This book starts off with a not everyday experience and that is by a man who kills himself in his apartment and a nun on her way home to the convent finds herself getting involved in the aftermath of his death. 

I know almost nothing about nuns or convents but I was fascinated to be admitted to their quiet lives through this book. The Nuns of the Little Nursing Sister of the Sick Poor lead quiet lives with their focus on helping others. This small convent of sisters was brought together to help people in a section of Brooklyn. These women help take care of the helpless, sick, and destitute. As Sister St Savior arrives on the devastating scene of a suicide it introduces her to the women with long flowing hair who is mourning the sudden death of her husband. 

Life quietly moves on through this book and I enjoyed moving along with it. I must say that the ending caught me completely by surprise. I had in my mind how this calm story would end and I was left open-mouthed by how it actually ended. I won't say any more then that, but if you read it please comment or message me so we can talk. 

I highly recommend this book for people who enjoy historical fiction of a quieter nature. For readers who enjoy seeing someone else's life through the lens of several different characters. 

Overall Rating - 4/5 Stars

Thank you to Farrar, Straus and Giroux for generously supplying me with a review copy of The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Published: September 19, 2017
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • ISBN-10: 0374280142

Happy Reading,


  1. I really enjoyed this book, too. I tend to enjoy stories which trace more than one generation of a family so that the reader has a bird's eye view of family mysteries known and unknown. I thought it was also a glimpse inside character's motivations, including doing what they thought was right, even if it had long-reaching repercussions. And, like you said, it was done in a quiet way, which I like.


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