EXCLUSIVE: Scott Rudin Productions has acquired The Ninth Hour, the novel by National Book Award-winning author Alice McDermott. The book was published today by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and has received spectacular reviews. Rudin and Eli Bush will produce the film. The deal was made by Geoffrey Sanford of The Sanford Ehrlich Company and Sarah Burnes of The Gernert Company.

The novel is a multi-generational story steeped in the Irish Catholic faith and set in the early 20th century. It begins with a down-on-his-luck Irish immigrant who turns on the gas in his early 1900s Brooklyn tenement and kills himself while nearly burning down the building. The story focuses on the family he leaves behind. His pregnant wife Annie is comforted by Sister St. Savoir of the Little Nursing Sister of the Sick Poor. The widow takes residence in the convent and works in the laundry while raising her daughter there, the child cloistered by two caring nuns. Sally becomes the focal point of the sprawling story, her father’s suicide reverberating through many lives of struggling characters.

McDermott won the National Book Award in 1998 for Charming Billy. Scott Rudin Productions this year produced the Greta Gerwig-directed Lady Bird with Saoirse Ronan and the Noah Baumbach-directed The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) starring Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler and Dustin Hoffman.