The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott
Cloth; New. The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott. Historical Fiction.
Alice McDermott's stunner takes place in early 20th century Brooklyn,
N.Y., mostly in the basement laundry room of a Catholic convent. Out of this confined situation emerges a sweeping cautionary tale about the pitfalls of female self-sacrifice.
McDermott's language is, as always, precise and lyrical. She can make music even out of a catalog of laundry supplies: "Borax and Ivory and bluing agents ... bran water to stiffen curtains and wimples, alum water to make muslin curtains and nightwear resist fire."