Lore arrives at the hospital alone—no husband, no partner, no friends. Her birth plan is explicit: she wants no fetal monitor, no IV, no epidural. Franckline, a nurse in the maternity ward—herself on the verge of showing—is patient with the young woman. She knows what it's like to worry that something might go wrong, and she understands the distress when it does. She knows as well as anyone the severe challenge of childbirth, what it does to the mind and the body.
Eleven Hours is the story of two soon-to-be mothers who, in the midst of a difficult labor, are forced to reckon with their pasts and re-create their futures. Lore must disentangle herself from a love triangle; Franckline must move beyond past traumas to accept the life that's waiting for her. Pamela Erens moves seamlessly between their begrudging partnership and the memories evoked by so intense an experience: for Lore, of the father of her child and her former best friend; for Franckline, of the family in Haiti from which she's exiled. At turns urgent and lyrical, Erens's novel is a visceral portrait of childbirth, and a vivid rendering of the way we approach motherhood—with fear and joy, anguish and awe.
by Yasmine Galenorn
by Megan Mayhew Bergman
by Tracy Guzeman
by Susan C. Shea
by Susan Conley
"Narrator Cassandra Campbell expertly guides the listener through this astonishing novel. With precision she navigates the intertwining stories of Lore, a woman who arrives at the hospital in labor alone, and Franckline, her nurse, who herself is pregnant after years of trying and loss. Campbell's narration shifts back and forth in time and between characters smoothly--moving from stories of Franckline's childhood in Haiti, her deep knowledge of childbirth, and her own fears for her pregnancy to the complicated love triangle that has left Lore alone at the hospital. Lore's labor brings a natural rhythm to the story, and Campbell's narration adds intimacy and intensity to this beautiful, shocking, and universal tale of birth. E.E.C. © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine"
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