The Hour I First Believed, Wally Lamb

I finished The Hour I First Believed while in Disney. This was a long book, but the artwork on the cover drew me in, burning your candle at both ends...sound familiar?

This book focuses on the life of Caelum Quirk, a high school English teacher and self-proclaimed atheist as he lives life in the aftermath of the Columbine High School shootings. I found it so interesting to read about the long reaching after-effects of this tragedy to someone who experienced it first hand. We all lived through what Caelum did in those years, yet not all of us were personally affected; Columbine, 911, the New Orleans floods...

Though all of these affected him and his marriage deeply, they also forced him to back to his childhood home where he delved into his family history and learned some things that forever changed his life and perceptions.

I really liked this book, though I wasn't always sure the route it was taking along the way. It kept me interested and portrayed human chain reactions set off by a catalyst in a way that I could relate to. What could happen in your life to validate "belief" in a higher power when you had always believed the opposite? In the face of tragedy, could you rise above or get sucked along? What would you do with information that changed life as you'd always known it? It isn't an uplifting book, but a journey worth taking none-the-less.


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