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These Short, Dark Days

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  8 reviews
In a new story, a nun copes with a death in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn.

February 3rd was a dark and dank day: cold spitting rain all morning and a low, steel-gray sky in the afternoon. At four, Jim persuaded his wife, Annie, to go out to do her shopping before full darkness fell. He closed the door behind her with a gentle wave. His hair was thinning, and he was missing a
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ebook, New Yorker Online Fiction, 20 pages
Published August 17th 2015 by The New Yorker
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3.76  · 
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 ·  29 ratings  ·  8 reviews


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Angela M
Nov 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thought I was reading a story by one of my favorite authors that I had missed. I realized that it’s an excerpt of the first chapter of her book The Ninth Hour which I have read. If you’re thinking of reading the novel or just want to sample McDermott’s wonderful writing, here is a link to the chapter which appeared in The New Yorker :
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20...
Mimi
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very moving short story about a compassionate nun whose purpose in life is to help those most in need, specifically how she provides comfort to the young, pregnant wife of a suicide victim. This is the first story I've read by Alice McDermott and I was entranced by her style of writing.
Laura
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Bettie, Wanda
Opening lines:
February 3rd was a dark and dank day: cold spitting rain all morning and a low, steel-gray sky in the afternoon. At four, Jim persuaded his wife, Annie, to go out to do her shopping before full darkness fell. He closed the door behind her with a gentle wave.


You may read online here.
Melki
Aug 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-fiction
The day and time itself: late afternoon in early February, was there a moment of the year better suited for despair?

On her way home from collecting alms at Borough Hall, Sister St. Savior lives up to her name when she is called upon to help console a newly widowed young woman.

She had entered the homes of strangers and seen the bottles in the bin, the poor contents of a cupboard, the bruise in a hidden place, seen as well, once, a pale, thumb-size infant in a basin filled with blood and had bo
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Andy Balicki
Sep 20, 2018 rated it liked it
A quiet portrait of despair and compassion against the man made rules of faith. Unfortunately, the story is inhabited by flat characters that render it instantly forgettable.
Susan Kavanagh
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a pitch perfect story of a young Irish immigrant's suicide and the nuns who will help his wife and unborn child begin their new life.
Edith
“The Devil loves these short, dark days” is the full comment that Sister St. Savior offers up as she reads of several suicides in the newspaper on a “dark and dank day” in February. The nun in this excellent short story has a heart of compassion that reverberates off the page.

Read this online from The New Yorker magazine.

Debbie
Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
What a lovely little story.
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Alice McDermott (born June 27, 1953) is Johns Hopkins University's Writer-in-Residence. Born in Brooklyn, New York, McDermott attended St. Boniface School in Elmont, Long Island, NY [1967], Sacred Heart Academy in Hempstead NY [1971], the State University of New York at Oswego, receiving her BA in 1975, and later received her MA from the University of New Hampshire in 1978.

She has taught at the UC
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