Pamela Erens packs a huge emotional punch into this short novel covering the labour of a young women in a busy New York hospital, the eleven hours of the title.
The evolving relationship between Lore, the single, unaccompanied woman and her midwife, Franckline is beautifully drawn. Erens has an astonishing talent for description and the passages on the physical progress of the labour are totally absorbing. She moves effortlessly between Lore’s story and that of Franckline, the immigrant midwife, and makes us care about them and their life journeys.
The author is skilled, in the things she suggests, as well as those things she describes and there is a sparseness and economy in the writing that is refreshing. I could say that there is not a superfluous word used and this conveys the urgency and intensity of the birth process.
I would have to say that this is one novel…
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