Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BBAW Giveaway: The Hour I First Believed

Summary: Wally Lamb's two previous novels, She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True, struck a chord with readers. They responded to the intensely introspective nature of the books, and to their lively narrative styles and biting humor. One critic called Wally Lamb a "modern-day Dostoyevsky," whose characters struggle not only with their respective pasts, but with a "mocking, sadistic God" in whom they don't believe but to whom they turn, nevertheless, in times of trouble (New York Times).

In his new novel, The Hour I First Believed, Lamb travels well beyond his earlier work and embodies in his fiction myth, psychology, family history stretching back many generations, and the questions of faith that lie at the heart of everyday life. The result is an extraordinary tour de force, at once a meditation on the human condition and an unflinching yet compassionate evocation of character.

When forty-seven-year-old high school teacher Caelum Quirk and his younger wife, Maureen, a school nurse, move to Littleton, Colorado, they both 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.

While Maureen fights to regain her sanity, Caelum discovers a cache of old diaries, letters, and newspaper clippings in an upstairs bedroom of his family's house. The colorful and intriguing story they recount spans five generations of Quirk family ancestors, from the Civil War era to Caelum's own troubled childhood. Piece by piece, Caelum reconstructs the lives of the women and men whose legacy he bears. Unimaginable secrets emerge; long-buried fear, anger, guilt, and grief rise to the surface.

As Caelum grapples with unexpected and confounding revelations from the past, he also struggles to fashion a future out of the ashes of tragedy. His personal quest for meaning and faith becomes a mythic journey that is at the same time quintessentially contemporary—and American.

The Hour I First Believed is a profound and heart-rending work of fiction. Wally Lamb proves himself a virtuoso storyteller, assembling a variety of voices and an ensemble of characters rich enough to evoke all of humanity. -- Harper

I am a huge fan of Wally Lamb and I loved THE HOUR I FIRST BELIEVED (my review.) I am so excited that I have a copy of this book to share with one of you! To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment with your e-mail address telling me who your favorite author is. To double or triple your chances, you can blog and/or tweet about this giveaway with a link back to this post. This contest is open until Monday, September 21st at 11:59 p.m. EST, and I will notify the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. Good luck!


Virginia C said...

Sounds very worthwhile. An intense personal struggle with faith and reality. Please enter my name in the drawing. gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Virginia C said...

My favorite author is Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Simply Stacie said...

My favourite author is Jodi Picoult.
Thanks for the chance.


mariag said...

My favourite author is Lisa See.
Thanks for the giveaway.

Pam said...

That is such a tough question...I have so many favourites! It often depends on the genre! One of my favourite books is A Prayer for Owen Meany so I guess I could say John Irving, though I haven't read all of his books...

melacan at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

My favorite author is Lyn Andrews.

Jo-Jo said...

Favorite author is a tough question, but I think I will go with Lisa See.

joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

Jenny Hill said...

I love, love, love Wally Lamb - I was so happy to hear he had another book out. However I must admit my favourite author is Maeve Binchy.
email is jenny dot hill at shaw dot ca


Beth said...

THanks for the giveaway. Please enter me. My fav author is Jodi Picoult.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Julie said...

You really want 1 favorite author. That is so hard. I would have to say Jodi Picoult though. She takes a very relavent societal issue and puts a very real story to it.

Linda said...

This book sounds intriguing, I love the idea of finding a cache of old family papers. My favorite genre is Hist. Fict., and my favorite author is the English writer Elizabeth Chadwick.

Anonymous said...

My favourite author (right now) is Stephanie Meyer.
I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.

roxxyroller said...

My favorite author is either James Patterson, or Danielle Steele!

I would love to win this, please enter me in the giveaway, thanks!

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/

roxxyroller said...

I own CoolCanucks.ca, which is a Canadian Contest and Freebie site. This giveaway is shared here:



Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/

roxxyroller said...

I tweeted!



Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/

Unknown said...

Not sure I have a fav author, but I enjoy Sarah Waters. Please enter me. christinegordonmanley[at]yahoo[dot]ca

Unknown said...

I also promoted this contest on twitter (cgmanley)


Geri said...

My favourite author is Victor Hugo but I loved reading Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone. Novels about faith struggles are very intruiging to me.

geri (dot) durant@gmail.com

Geri said...

I tweeted about the giveaway!


geri (dot) durant@gmail.com

Unknown said...

I'm not sure if I have an absolute favorite author. One who is high up there is Michelle Moran.


Anonymous said...

Sweet contest!

My e-mail address is big_bang_beatnik@hotmail.com and my favourite author is a tie between Charlotte Bronte and Virginia Woolf

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Sounds awesome. I'd love to read this. I don't have a favorite author honestly. I love Stephen Chbosky's book.

lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

Shooting Stars Mag said...

i tweeted


lauren51990 at aol dot com

Carrie K. said...

Only one author? Hmmm.... Leon Uris is a favorite. So is Tracy Chevalier. And Diana Gabaldon. Oh, and Austen and Dickens, of course. Lisa Samson, too. And Stephanie Kallos and Anne Tyler and.... :)

nnjmom at yahoo dot com

Alyce said...

My favorite author is Anne McCaffrey. To me her books are comfort/fun reads and I never get tired of them. (Comfort reads for the sci-fi lover!) :)

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Jessica ( frellathon ) said...

Wally Lamb is an author I have yet to read. I really must do something to change that.
My fav author is Dean Koontz.

The Book Chick said...

No need to enter me, I have this one already, but I just wanted to stop by and tell everyone to ENTER TO WIN THIS BOOK!!!!! It was the first Wally Lamb that I read (I've since gone back and read the others) and it rocketed him into my list of favourite authors. Good luck, everyone, and enjoy!!!

Anonymous said...

would love to win the hour i first believed have had it on my tbr for awhile

Anonymous said...

i for got to add my favorite author...i would have to say jodi picoult...i will never forget how much i cried at the end of my sister's keeper and how sad i was at the pact

Unknown said...

I think my favorite author right now is Brian Sanderson - Mistborn. Loved the book.
Thanks for entering me in this giveaway. I am now a new follower.

Sue said...

Well after finally reading East of Eden last month, I'm a huge John Steinbeck fan. I can't wait to read more.
I have loved Rohinton Mistry and Wallace Stegner for years...

Thanks for the giveaway.

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

Books We Read said...


I had posted your giveaway post on my blog:


I also added your blog to my blogroll at:


I would appreciate if you could also add my blog to your "Favorites"


Anonymous said...

At the moment it's Susan Slater. I am fickle, I generally love an author as I read his/her work.


enyl said...

My favorite authors are Dostoevsky and Maya Angelou.


Anonymous said...

This book certainly sounds as if
it would be very interesting.
My favorite author has to be
Debbie Macomber.


Nancye said...

My favorite authors are: Nicholas Sparks, Karen Kingsbury, Lori Wick, Beverly Lewis, and the list goes on and on and on...................

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!


nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Jen Forbus said...

Oh my gosh, I have to pick one favorite? That's so hard! O.k., my favorite author for TODAY will be Louise Penny because I've been reading her Three Pines series one right after the other since I discovered it this year. I described it to someone recently as "art at so many levels." Simply amazing!


Hot Off the Shelves said...

I would have to say my favorite author is R.A. Salvatore. His books are my comfort food when I know I need a good read.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a winner! Count me in.

ikkinlala said...

I don't really have a favourite author, but one of my favourites lately is Ursula K. Le Guin.

ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

Anonymous said...

so many favouite authors...i'm reading a few books by dorthea benton frank now...so i'll give her the props today.

karen k

Tami @ This Mom's Delight said...

My favorite author is Lori Wick.

mymadakaja at yahoo dot com

Tami @ This Mom's Delight said...

You can find my tweet here:

mymadakaja at yahoo dot com

Jonnie (JB) said...

My favorite author is Joy Fielding

Karlie said...

Wally Lamb is actually my favorite author! I can't wait to hear him speak in November!!

Helen M said...

My favorite author today is Elizabeth Strout. Her book OLIVE KITTERIDGE is amazing. Please enter me. Thanks!

Misusedinnocence said...

My favorite author is Jaqueline Carey.


Unknown said...

Kim Harrison is my favorite author


Unknown said...




Unknown said...




Jaime said...

I really enjoyed She's Come Undone, and have given it to several friends and they all had the same reaction, They loved it
I really don't have a "favorite", I enjoy many
copperllama at yahoo dot com

Unknown said...

I am so exited about this giveaway because Wally Lamb is terrific!

My favorite author is Wallace Stegner

Thank you :o)


Unknown said...

I tweeted this giveaway at



a real librarian said...

There are so many!! James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, Billie Letts. Thanks for the chance to win!!


a real librarian said...

I also subscribe to your blog!


Emma said...

My favorite author is Debbie Macomber .THE HOUR I FIRST BELIEVED sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

Nicole said...

My favorite author is Nicholas Sparks.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Thanks so much for the giveaway. My favorite author is Chris Bohjallian

dd DOT bookgoddess AT gmail DOT com

Lisa said...

Thanks for the giveaway! My favorite living author is Ann Patchett.


Allison said...

I love Wally Lamb's books!! Great giveaway...Please enter me!!
I've tweeted the contest too..

allisonsattic at gmail dot com


elaine said...

Sounds like such an interesting read!

Elaine R

Anonymous said...

My favorite author is Margaret Atwood.

thefatesarevicious at yahoo dot com

WD said...

shes come undone was a good read so this one should be great too!
please enter me in the contest!

Debbie F said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie F said...

My favorite author is Nora Roberts!

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Lee P said...

It is so hard to pick just one favorite author because there are so many good ones who write excellent books. Right now, I'd have to say my favorite is Lisa Scottoline. Thanks for this giveaway and please count me in.


Lee P said...

I tweeted your giveaway:



Gaby317 said...

It's hard to come up with one favorite author. I always enjoy PG Wodehouse, Agatha Christie, Jim Butcher, Sharon Shinn, and Suzanne Collins.

Thanks so much for the entry.

gaby317nyc at gmail dot com

I follow

adrian said...

One of my fav authors is Popcheck.
smilefest (at) yahoo (dot) com

Winning Readings said...

Looks like a fascinating book! One of my favorites is Karen Kingsbury.

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Rebecca N. said...

I really love James Patterson and Rebecca Wells and so many more!

Thanks for the fantastic giveaway!

I would be really happy to win this book!

imsosweepy { at } gmail { dot } com

Rebecca N. said...

I tweeted!


imsosweepy { at } gmail { dot } com

rhapsodyinbooks said...

My favorite author is David Hackett Fischer.

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I loved Lamb's two previous novels!

If I have to choose a favorite author, this month it would be Geraldine Brooks ... subject to change next month!

dawn [at] sheIsTooFondOfBooks [dot] com

Amber said...

My all-time favorite author... is John Irving.

amber at amberstults dot com

Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

Belinda M said...

James patterson is my all time favorite author

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/


Belinda M said...



Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/


cqueen2 said...

James patterson is my fave right now :)

thanks so much count me in


wadesherry@hotmail dot com

Annmarie Weeks said...

My all-time favorite authors are F Scott Fitzgerald and Ayn Rand. However, I also just read a book by Mary Alice Monroe that I really enjoyed as well!

Annmarie Weeks said...

I tweeted! http://twitter.com/amweeks/status/4131969746

Stacey said...

Sounds great!


My current favorite author is Neil Gaiman.

flowerchild said...

this sounds like such a great read..
favorite author is jodi picoult and sophie kinsella

MarionG said...

Hi My favorite author is Diana Gabaldon( of the Outlander historical fiction books). I haven't read any of Lamb's books but have heard so many good things that I have plans to do this now. Cheers. polo-puppy-fluffy AT hotmail *dot* com

cherdon said...

Since I can only pick one, I would say my favorite author is Karen Robards.

Please enter me. Thank you.


cherdon said...