The Hour I First Believed: A Novel (Paperback)

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December 2008 Indie Next List

“In The Hour I First Believed, Wally Lamb captures the essence of modern America through the events of the past decade. Though sweeping, the story resonates in a powerfully intimate and personal way, at once heart-wrenching and hopeful, with characters so deeply conceived that you will think of them and their lives long after you have finished reading the book.”
— Suzy Staubach, UConn Co-op, Storrs, CT


When high school teacher Caelum Quirk and his wife, Maureen, a school nurse, 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 at a cost: she is unable to recover from the trauma. 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, and further tragedy ensues.

Praise For…

“Lamb . . . has delivered a tour de force, his best yet. A”

“A page-turner. . . . Lamb remains a storyteller at the top of his game.”

“Too compelling to put down . . . a richly textured story . . . moving, funny, and completely unpredictable.”

“Every character is rendered with vivid, utterly convincing depth. . . . A heck of a page-turner.”

“Lamb, a maestro of orchestrating emotion . . . knows how to make his fans’ hearts sing.”

“Wally Lamb is a remarkable talent.”

“Lamb has crafted another affecting, engrossing tome about complicated, interesting characters.”

“A soaring novel as amazingly graceful as the classic hymn that provides the title”

“Lamb does an extraordinary job narrating some of the most terrifying tragedies of the past 10 epic journey. Grade: A.”

“When you put Lamb’s newest novel down, it will be reluctantly. It’s that good.”
Product Details
ISBN: 9780060988432
ISBN-10: 0060988436
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: August 1st, 2009
Pages: 768
Language: English
Series: P.S.