The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb

Finally! I’ve been waiting 10 years for Wally Lamb to write anther book. He has been busy with his Women of York Prison writer’s workshop compiling collections of their work in two published books (Couldn’t Keep it to Myself and I’ll Fly Away). Similar in terms of pace to his previous novels, The Hour I First Believed is a journey to say the least. This would indeed be a very long blog if I tried to summarize the whole story so I will focus briefly on only one of his heavy themes.

Caelum Quirk is an English teacher and his wife Maureen a school nurse, both working at Columbine High School. Although this is fiction, Lamb does incorporate the real people and events from the massacre in April of 1999 into his story. Maureen is hidden in a cabinet in the school library and listens as students are systematically shot and killed by two fellow classmates. Lamb then sheds huge light into the world of PTSD. The damage that Maureen is left with is severe, complicated and the catalyst to much more trauma.

Once again Wally Lamb writes an amazing story. If you’ve read either of his other two books (She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True) I would love to know what you think of them in comparison to this, his new one.