Not Logged in.
Book Jacket

The Ninth Hour


A crowning achievement of one of the finest American writers at work today.
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide
Author Biography

Discuss The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott:
How are Liz's beliefs and the practice of her faith different from Annie's, and how do they make this friendship work? Do you have friendships like this in your life?

Created: 09/01/18

Replies: 6

Posted Sep. 01, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1584

Expert

How are Liz's beliefs and the practice of her faith different from Annie's, and how do they make this friendship work? Do you have friendships like this in your life?

Liz and Annie become close friends when their children are small, yet their lives are very different. How are Liz's beliefs and the practice of her faith different from Annie's, and how do they make this friendship work? Do you have friendships like this in your life?


Posted Sep. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 162

Expert

RE: How are Liz's beliefs and the practice of her faith different from Annie's, and how do they make this friendship work? Do you have friendships like this in your life?

Quickly here I will say that Liz is the more traditional believer in practice, yet she is less traditional in her daily life and treatment of Annie. She is not judgmental or insisting that her friend adhere to strict religious practices. Liz accepts Annie for who she is, enjoys her company and contributes to helping make Annie and Sally's lives better in any way she can without finding fault, interfering, or placing blame. She supports her in every way she can, brings lightness to her life in any way she can, and is just the most supporting, best friend she can be for doing so. Annie seems more rigid in her faith, more fearful, less open. The two are foils for one another - yet McDermott shows us how this is both possible and positive - and the results are rewarding for all involved.


Posted Sep. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulagb

Join Date: 08/16/17

Posts: 39

RE: How are Liz's beliefs and the practice of her faith different from Annie's, and how do they make this friendship work? Do you have friendships like this in your life?

Liz is a more traditional devout Christian. Annie becomes part of the convent out of desperate need after her husband’s death. She must adhere to the beliefs as closely as she can toprovide for and protect herself and her daughter from starvation. We know less about her religious belief than the nuns, because we can assume much of their belief based on known standards. Liz and Annie can only be friends because they each do not require the other to submit to restrictions or needs inconsistent with each individuals beliefs. I think most long term friends, unless their friendship exists only in a closed society, must allow this freedom from judgment or the friendship will die.


Posted Sep. 12, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 148

Expert

RE: How are Liz's beliefs and the practice of her faith different from Annie's, and how do they make this friendship work? Do you have friendships like this in your life?

Liz is a realistic, honest person who accepts her religion and life, in general, as a good thing and with joy. She is a happy person who deals with situations openly and lovingly. Annie has not had much joy in her life and deals with things a bit more pragmatically. She acts as she must in her situation. She does not seem to embrace her religion as something that can lift her up but more as what is expected. She is not afraid for her soul as her daughter is. The two friends share much philosophically but express and live their faith in different ways. Most of my friendships are similar.


Posted Sep. 14, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 311

Expert

RE: How are Liz's beliefs and the practice of her faith different from Annie's, and how do they make this friendship work? Do you have friendships like this in your life?

Liz is definitely the happier of the two. She enjoys her marriage, her children and her life. Annie has a sadness about her and is more serious. I don't think she was raise in a catholic home, and always seems a bit surprised by the sisters. Perhaps that is why she really didn't fear for her soul or see it as this evil thing when she had her relationship with Mr. Costello. Sally, raised by all the nuns, felt more concern for her mother's soul. I think the relationship between Liz and Annie was based more on the children, their apartments, the weather and life in general rather than their religious beliefs. I think that is true of most relationships today.


Posted Sep. 17, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cathyoc

Join Date: 04/26/17

Posts: 25

RE: How are Liz's beliefs and the practice of her faith different from Annie's, and how do they make this friendship work? Do you have friendships like this in your life?

I enjoyed the friendship between Annie and Liz, I think it showed how different Annie’s life became when her husband took his life and left her to fend for herself and her child. I appreciated Liz’s generosity toward Annie. I have friends from many different backgrounds and religious beliefs, a true friend always has your best interest at heart and I think Liz wanted Annie to be happy even when her choices were so different from Liz’s


Posted Sep. 20, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scgirl

Join Date: 06/05/18

Posts: 40

RE: How are Liz's beliefs and the practice of her faith different from Annie's, and how do they make this friendship work? Do you have friendships like this in your life?

I think Liz's beliefs actually personify what the Catholic church preaches (not necessarily practices) in that Liz is faithful and keeps to the traditions but doesn't judge Annie when she develops a relationship with Mr. Costello. Similar to Sr. Jeanne, Liz accepts Annie and sees her relationship as a sign of her loneliness not as a rebuttal of God. Liz takes in Sally because of her love for Annie and her understanding that Sally may not want to be in an environment where she can see Annie's relationship first hand.


Reply

Please login to post a response.