Book Groups

HPL Book Group

The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott

Tuesday, October 29 at 7:00

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. Alice McDermott’s The Ninth Hour is a crowning achievement by one of the premiere writers at work in America today.

Details:
  • Books are available for checkout at the Reference desk
  • The HPL Book Group meets the last Tuesday of each month (except December)
  • New Members are always welcome
  • For more information, please contact the Reference Department at 781-741-1405, ext. 1404
The ninth hour book cover

Books on Tap!

Books on Tap meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month at Not Your Average Joe's in Norwell at 7:00 pm, and provides a fun and relaxed atmosphere for members to chat about books. Book choices focus on recent, fresh, and interesting reads. So come on down, grab a cocktail, and enjoy a literary night out! This month, Books on Tap is reading...

Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett
Tuesday, October 8 at 7:00

One morning, Jessa-Lynn Morton walks into the family taxidermy shop to find that her father has committed suicide, right there on one of the metal tables. Shocked and grieving, Jessa steps up to manage the failing business, while the rest of the Morton family crumbles. Her mother starts sneaking into the shop to make aggressively lewd art with the taxidermied animals. Her brother Milo withdraws, struggling to function. And Brynn, Milo’s wife―and the only person Jessa’s ever been in love with―walks out without a word. As Jessa seeks out less-than-legal ways of generating income, her mother’s art escalates―picture a figure of her dead husband and a stuffed buffalo in an uncomfortably sexual pose―and the Mortons reach a tipping point. For the first time, Jessa has no choice but to learn who these people truly are, and ultimately how she fits alongside them.

  • Books are available for checkout at the Reference desk two weeks before each meeting
  • Books on Tap meets the second Tuesday of each month
  • New Members are always welcome
  • For more information, please contact the Reference Desk at 781-741-1405, ext. 1404
books on tap logo
Mostly Dead Things Book Cover