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The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb

The Hour I First Believed begins in 1999 when Caelum Quirk and his wife Maureen move to Colorado in an attempt to start over anew after her affair. They both find work at Columbine High School, but Caelum is away the day the massacre occurs. Maureen survives by hiding in a cabinet and hearing others taunted before being killed. Maureen is torn apart by post-traumatic stress and Caelum is unable to provide any comfort. They move back to Connecticut in hopes that being there would provide some solace to Maureen. Caelum begins to research his own family history, finding secrets and lies that threaten to unravel his own state of mind. Wally Lamb's novel has received mostly positive reviews with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch saying, "Lamb describes The Hour I First Believed as 'a meditation on faith, a fugue about the ravages of war, an investigation of the ways in which chaos can alter the course of our lives, and the ways in which our ancestors may be whispering to us.' No wonder this moving, funny and completely unpredictable story took 10 years and 752 pages to tell."
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USA Today review
by Craig Wilson

St. Louis Post-Dispatch review
by Gail Pennington

St. Petersburg Times review
by Kit Reed

Washington Post review
by Ron Charles

Denver Post review
by Robin Vidimos

Dallas Morning News review
by Joy Tipping

Rocky Mountain News review
by Ashley Simpson Shires

New York Times review
by Louisa Thomas

Christian Science Monitor
review by Yvonne Zipp

Wally Lamb
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