The Hour I First Believed

By Wally Lamb
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060988432, 768pp.)

Publication Date: August 2009

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the December 2008 Indie Next List
“In The Hour I First Believed, Wally Lamb captures the essence of modern America through the events of the past decade. Though sweeping, the story resonates in a powerfully intimate and personal way, at once heart-wrenching and hopeful, with characters so deeply conceived that you will think of them and their lives long after you have finished reading the book.”
-- Suzy Staubach, UConn Co-op, Storrs, CT


Description

When high school teacher Caelum Quirk and his wife, Maureen, a school nurse, move to Littleton, Colorado, they both get jobs at Columbine High School. In April 1999, while Caelum is away, Maureen finds herself in the library at Columbine, cowering in a cabinet and expecting to be killed. Miraculously, she survives, but at a cost: she is unable to recover from the trauma. When Caelum and Maureen flee to an illusion of safety on the Quirk family's Connecticut farm, they discover that the effects of chaos are not easily put right, and further tragedy ensues.




About the Author

Wally Lamb is the author of the New York Times and national bestseller The Hour I First Believed, as well as the novels She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True, both #1 New York Times bestsellers and Oprah's Book Club selections. He lives in Connecticut with his family.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. The Hour I First Believed deals with many themes: violence, family, the quest for meaning and connection, faith, and the power of chaos to change our lives. These themes are stitched together by two opposing emotional states—despair and hope. How are these two oppositional states intertwined in the story? How are they demonstrated in the story? Use any of the character's lives as an example.




Praise For The Hour I First Believed

“Lamb . . . has delivered a tour de force, his best yet. A”
-Entertainment Weekly

“A page-turner. . . . Lamb remains a storyteller at the top of his game.”
-Craig Wilson, USA Today

“Too compelling to put down . . . a richly textured story . . . moving, funny, and completely unpredictable.”
-Gail Pennington, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Every character is rendered with vivid, utterly convincing depth. . . . A heck of a page-turner.”
-Dallas Morning News

“Lamb, a maestro of orchestrating emotion . . . knows how to make his fans’ hearts sing.”
-Corrie Pikul, Elle

“Wally Lamb is a remarkable talent.”
-Columbus Dispatch

“Lamb has crafted another affecting, engrossing tome about complicated, interesting characters.”
-Cherie Parker, Minneapolis Star Tribune

“A soaring novel as amazingly graceful as the classic hymn that provides the title”
-Miami Herald

“Lamb does an extraordinary job narrating some of the most terrifying tragedies of the past 10 years....an epic journey. Grade: A.”
-Rocky Mountain News

“When you put Lamb’s newest novel down, it will be reluctantly. It’s that good.”
-Knoxville News-Sentinel

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