In the early twentieth century, a young man commits suicide, leaving his pregnant wife to support herself by laboring in the laundry of a convent. McDermott's novel vividly recounts the lives of Annie, her very interesting daughter Sally, their neighbors, and the nuns who help raise Sally and serve their Irish-American community. Seamless and absorbing, with an evocative use of "we" as the narrative voice. McDermott is a master of this material.

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