The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Do not read this if you cannot stomach sad stories. This was a classic tragedy in many ways, even with supplemental myths and metaphors. Wally Lamb is a skillful writer, and he wove together the story of complicated protagonist Caelum, his third wife Maureen (who survives the Columbine tragedy and is forever marked by it), the women's prison on the family's property, refugees from New Orleans, lost teenage and adult souls, and Caelum's ancestors.
In Lamb's afterword, he quotes James Baldwin: "People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes back to them, poisoned."
It's a book about the devastating nature of alcoholism, cruelty, violence, and war. And how in the midst of it all, humans somehow find each other and love each other.
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