Wally Lamb's books have been book club staples ever since his first book, She's Come Undone was published (waaay back at the beginning of my publishing career). Now, his most recent novel, The Hour I First Believed is just out in paperback and is ripe for book club picking!
In The Hour I First Believed, Lamb tells the story of forty-seven-year-old high school teacher Caelum Quirk and his younger wife, Maureen, a school nurse, who move to Littleton, Colorado, and get jobs at Columbine High School. In April 1999, Caelum returns home to Three Rivers, Connecticut, to be with his aunt who has just had a stroke. But Maureen finds herself in the school library at Columbine, cowering in a cabinet and expecting to be killed, as two vengeful students go on a carefully premeditated, murderous rampage. Miraculously she survives, but at a cost: she is unable to recover from the trauma. Caelum and Maureen flee Colorado and return to an illusion of safety at the Quirk family farm in Three Rivers. But the effects of chaos are not so easily put right, and further tragedy ensues in this extraordinary tour de force, at once a meditation on the human condition and an unflinching yet compassionate evocation of character.