The Hour I First Believed

Name of the book: The Hour I First Believed

Author: Wally Lamb

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Theme: Relationships, Family, Columbine, American Womens Prison System.

Summary: I chose this book because of the author’s other excellent books that I have read (She’s Come Undone, I Know This Much Is True).  In this book, Lamb mixes real events with fiction. The story begins with the main character Caelum Quirk, a teacher at Columbine whose wife also works at the high school as the part-time school nurse, in Littleton, Colorado – a few days before the shootings at Columbine High School. Quirk has a conversation with the two boys about their future.

After the stage is set for the story, we learn a lot about Caelum Quirk – and I mean a lot! There seems to be several books within this one large book, and although all of the parts are interesting, it was just too much! I would get involved with one part and then suddenly another part would begin although the previous part was left unresolved.

So, to summarize, the book is about the long term effects of the Columbine shootings on Caelum and his wife. She ends up in prison and he is left having to carry the weight of everything else. The other parts of the novel deal with his family history and he uncovers some very unpleasant things. The Hour I First Believed is worth the time invested to read, but keep in mind that it will take a long time to get to the end!

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