Mara's Reviews > The Hour I First Believed

The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
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's review
Apr 17, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: family, fiction, prison
Read in April, 2009

Caelum Quirk is not a very sympathetic character. He drinks too much and is generally not very nice to his wife. That's all before his wife survives the Columbine shootings. Unfortunately, his attitude doesn't improve a whole lot afterward. Without giving away too many of the details, it's not until she winds up in jail and he's in the midst of learning about 5 generations worth of family secrets that he starts to act in a more sympathetic manner. It was a bit too late for me, though.

Despite my difficulties with Caelum, I found the book itself to be very readable. Lamb weaves a lot of threads into his story which might have become overwhelming, but in his capable hands everything is resolved very naturally, and with a refreshing lack of pat answers. Lamb might have left a few plot points out of this long book without actually depriving the narrative of anything, but on the whole I was impressed.

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