The Hour I First Believed

The Hour I First Believed

A Novel

Large Print - 2008
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When high school teacher Caelum Quirk and his wife, Maureen, 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 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.

While Maureen fights to regain her sanity, Caelum discovers five generations' worth of diaries, letters, and newspaper clippings in his family's house. As unimaginable secrets emerge, Caelum grapples with the past and struggles to fashion a future from the ashes of tragedy. His quest for meaning is at once mythic and contemporary, personal and quintessentially American.

Publisher: New York : HarperLuxe, 2008.
Edition: First HarperLuxe edition
ISBN: 9780061711794
Branch Call Number: LARGE PRINT LAMB W
Characteristics: large print
1121 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.


From the critics

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Apr 22, 2017

I couldn't put this book down. Quite a journey. Struck me as so real, so human. An excellent read in my opinion. Has me reflecting on my own life so far and the bits that I struggle with. Gives me hope.

Nov 18, 2015

I just finished reading this book. It is long, but worth the time! The Intertwining of real life occurrences makes it more interesting as well as the time spent delving into history. I highly recommend it.

I will certainly read more of his novels.

Mar 16, 2015

The writing was lovely, I just couldn't get into the story.

Apr 14, 2014

I enjoy Wally Lamb books because they are so real. I always learn so much from them, as he shows "the big picture", not just a tiny slice of life. Everything that happens in our lives has ripples that could affect thousands. This book gave me a much better understanding of PTSD and the American prison system. I would love to have been a student in one of his classrooms, but reading his books is probably the next best thing.

Feb 06, 2014

Another great Wally Lamb book. You can tell how much time he puts into his books, doesn't just spit them out one after another like many authors.

Dec 28, 2011

An excellent read altho apparently off into historical essays at times; it's worth preservering thru it all to get the full measure of the story. Some found it difficult to stay with the misery - I think that speaks to the nature of the beast and therefore to the author's skill. Depression does seem never ending when in its gripand the point is to bring the reader into that experience, however painful.. A tragedy followed thru many perspectives to a solid conclusion.

Oct 08, 2011

When I first began reading this book I had perused through a few of the other reader reviews that were on here. I was disappointed to find that there was quite a few negative reviews of the story. I continued reading as I had bought the book and had committed myself to reading it, and hey, I had loved his other books.
I was expecting the story to drag but it didn't. I loved this book. I loved the way that he looked at many different people and showed how trauma in life changed and moulded his characters in so many ways. I love the way that he reached back into the history of the protagonist, giving him 'roots', a new way to view his own life.
The whole butterfly/mantis opposing ways of viewing the world were so cool and I didn't really pull that together until after I finished. When I did see this link I appreciated the book more fully.
Mr. Lamb's characters are so real and fallible but at the same time they move through these situations, they find the good side.
I completely recommend reading this long, disturbing, wonderful, time and emotionally consuming book!

Sep 08, 2011

C lick on the title over iin shelves for plot. I found it easy to read but would not give it an excellent.
About a man's struggle to find out about himself after his world is torn apart by the Columine massacre,

Aug 29, 2011

Well written with well rounded characters with an unusual history and in an interesting setting, but the sheer misery of the wife of the main protaganist became very tedious and the urge was to shout "for goodness sake pull yourself together" long before I struggled through second half of the 720+ pages. I'm sure as a study of post traumatic stress syndrome it has some merit and there were many fascinating and intriguing parts, especially in Caelum's mysterious history, but it was far too long and depressing to make a good read.

Dec 01, 2010

This book surpassed my expectations. I liked how it all came full circle.

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