Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Hour I First Believed

I have read, and loved, all of Wally Lamb's books, so I was anxiously awaiting the release of his newest novel, The Hour I First Believed. At first, I thought the book was going to disappoint, as it got off to a slow start, but after thinking back to his first novel, She's Come Undone, I remembered the feeling the same way, so I hung in there and continued reading. Lo and behold, the book took off and gripped me so that I could not put it down until I was finished. I'll admit the story line is somewhat depressing, describing in full detail the events of the Columbine shootings and the emotional aftermath of these events. The story is told through the eyes of a high school teacher who survives this ordeal and his wife, the school nurse, who struggles with post traumatic stress disorder following the event. As does his second novel, I Know This Much is True, the story includes a diary that provides a second subplot of historical fiction adding extra dimension to the tale. Overall, Lamb's writing is explosive, with a real feel for the broad ranges of human emotion. I wonder, sometimes, if he wasn't a psychologist or sociologist in a past lifetime. I highly recommend his work to anyone who enjoys digging deeper into the human psyche, and encourage readers to hang in there through the slow start. It's highly worth it!!


silverneurotic said...

I too, love Wally Lamb. I first picked up "She's Come Undone" in high school and I think that I've read it once a year since. Every time I've read that book, I've gotten something new out of it.

I was really excited about the release of "The Hour I First Believed" and asked me friend to buy a copy for me for Christmas. I actually couldn't put it down, but then towards the end of the middle I began slightly losing interest. But I continued on and I'm very glad that I did.

There's another book that was edited by Wally Lamb called "Couldn't Keep it To Ourselves" which is a collection of short stories he compiled from the women he teaches creative writing too in prison. It's definitely worth checking out.

Michelle said...

I have had my eye on this book and have added it to a couple challenges. I really am looking forward to reading this. I have never read Wally Lamb before, but your review added a pinch of history that I appreciate. Good to know that it starts off slow. Thanks for the review!

keltban said...

THANKS for the Review!! I adored Wally Lamb's other books. They were fantastic and I could not put them down. I can't wait to read this. Thanks again!

renee gimelli said...

There is redemption in these pages. Relationships are described with harrowing sensitivity and insight. I will go so far as to say this is a very "memorable" book.