the Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb (2008)

I have avoided this book for a while. I thought it would be all about the Columbine school shootings and I didn’t want to read about it. But when I picked it up in the book store and looked on the cover and read that it was about much more than that, I bought it. And I read it.

This book starts off with the Columbine shootings. The narrator’s wife, Maureen, was hiding in a cupboard praying for her life during the shootings. The narrator, Caelum, was at this point at the deathbed of his aunt in Connecticut. The wife never recovers after the shootings, they move to Connecticut to start a new life at the farm that Caelum inherits after his aunt. Maureen eventually gets addicted to painkillers that she steals from the nursing home she works at and one night she hit a young boy when driving home under the influence.

There are so many layers in this book. It is written with the background of every significant event in American history over the past decade. I could really feel the anger and the bitterness of the narrator’s voice in the beginning of the book and nearing the end of the book it turns more soft and grateful.

I loved this book as much as I love Wally Lamb’s other books, She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True.