The Hour I First Believed (Paperback)
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The Hour I First Believed (Paperback)

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£14.99
Paperback 640 Pages
Published: 02/04/2009
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From the author of the international number one bestseller I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE comes a magnificent novel of a life turned upside-down by tragedy – and the search for a way to carry on in the aftermath.

Caelum Quirk is a middle-aged schoolteacher. Students at Columbine High School generally respect him and turn to his wife Maureen, the school nurse, when in trouble. When he has to return to his home town for the funeral of his beloved aunt, Maureen promises to join him the next day - but she goes to work that morning, and that’s when the shootings happen. She hides in a cupboard, unable to see what’s happening, but listening to the students being taunted, then killed.

Life can never be the same again. In the face of Maureen’s trauma, Caelum searches for meaning, delving into his own family history and discovering that nothing was as he’s always been told. As the couple inch towards recovery and suffer setbacks, the stories of Caelum’s redoubtable ancestors illuminate how he came to be the man he is, and how he and Maureen might live in the future with freedom and dignity. With no easy answers, Caelum gradually comes to an understanding of who he really is and what he can believe in.

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780007290802
Number of pages: 640
Weight: 450 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 34 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Praise for THE HOUR I FIRST BELIEVED'It's part picaresque, part Russian novel, part mystery…ambitious…Caelum is an unusual, provocative character, neither a hero nor an antihero but a regular guy experiencing both the tragic and the absurd. His tone is by turns funny, irritating, depressive and sentimental-which is to say, recognizably human'New York Times‘A fine and humane novel which tries to make sense of America's turbulent times’ Daily Mail‘Captivating…he entrances’ Financial Times‘Those who love a good plot will not be disappointed…He avoids any maudlin sentiment and constantly surprises. He delivers on his message of redemption…it is genuinely moving.’ Independent‘Thoughtful, informative’ Time Out Praise for I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE ‘A modern Greek tragedy…[Lamb’s] success is to present this with terrific readability, tenderness, optimism and, most surprisingly, wit… The hallmark of the book is fine writing and a commendable depth of characterisation’The Times‘Wally Lamb’s achievement is to force you to feel Dominick’s pain… the events in Dominick’s everyday nightmare are presented with a sneaky simplicity which generates emotional tension’Daily Telegraph‘A triumph of simple beauty’Time‘I Know This Much Is True never grapples with anything less than life’s biggest questions… a modern-day Dostoyevsky’New York Times‘Every now and then a book comes along that sets new standards for writers and readers alike. Wally Lamb’s latest novel is stunning – and even that might be an understatement’Associated Press

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“The Hour I First Believed”

As the novel opens Caelum Quirk is trying to save his third marriage, but events are about to spin out of his control. His wife is caught up in the Columbine High School shootings and their lives will never be the... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 34

“The Hour I First Believed”

I did read the whole of this book, honestly!! I must admit to feeling some trepidation when I first gazed at the lengthy tome, but when I finished, I felt somewhat bereft! It had become a part of me, and had involved... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 29

“The Hour I First Believed”

'The hour I first believed' depicts the ills of contemporary America from Columbine to the Iraq War. Non-fiction events are interwoven with a fascinating fictitious personal family history to explore the... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 21

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