Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Hour I First Believed Written by: Wally Lamb

I don’t have a past readers, at least not an ancestral past, maybe that’s why I’ve always caught myself since I was a little girl trying to find out people’s stories to find out their history and their families history…because I don’t have one. Sure, I have a family now, but prior to my adoption as an infant I really have nothing. I was given a name by those who took me in, but later that was changed, and I come from a country that’s rich in history, but I’ve never been back and I don’t speak my native language so I am without a past. All of us at some point wonder where we’re from or what our ancestors were like especially as we grow older and wonder “whose nose do I have? Will I lose my mind? Could I have heart disease? Does cancer run in my family? Do I get my temper from my grandmother?” All of those questions to me and many like me readers are completely foreign…they simply do not exist, and I’ve tried to find out, I have, but it’s simply not there. I’ve always kind of felt sorry for myself and been bitter at people who don’t give a shit about their pasts, I’ve felt they take the fact they have a history for granted… that is until I read stories like this one. Caelum a high school teacher, and his wife, Maureen, a school nurse. They are a couple who have faced many hardships in their lives readers, and quite a few of them are because of their families and their families decisions, but that's getting a head of myself. Let us focus upon the present. It seems that plagued by some of their own past mistakes the Quirk couple decide to move to Littleton Colorado, and both of them obtain employment at Columbine High School. Then in April of the year 1999, while Caelum is away dealing with one tragic event, Maureen finds herself in the library at columbine facing another, cowering in a cabinet and expecting to be killed. This I warn you readers is very hard to listen to and the book in general is extremely graphic and can be quite real in its harshness at times. Once again Caelum and Maureen flee to an illusion of safety on the Quirk family's Connecticut farm, but there they discover that the effects of chaos are not easily put right, and further tragedy ensues. This book I listened to readers, and at times had to just stop listening the narrator George Guidall does a well enough job reading especially with giving Caleum his own voice... I loathed this main character on so many levels at times, but I'll let you make up your own mind concerning Caleum and his plight. Maureen is also quite complicated, these two people are very real and very damaged, it is really quite tragic. Columbine, the victims of the massacre, the reverberations from that day and going forward, and just how those two boys actions can keep hurting people. Quite the profound read readers. Once again Lamb gut punches we the readers and keeps us wondering just what the heck do all of these plot threads have to do with one another and then the reveal, again quite profound.

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