Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Reading A to Z: L is for Lamb

I became a fan of Wally Lamb, as did most of America, after reading I Know This Much Is True. It was recommended to me at the time by someone for whom I babysat. The story about two adult male twins. One has paranoid schizophrenia. The other is suffering from PTSD from all of the stress in his life. The story unfolds as Dominic, the non-schizophrenic twin, analyzes his life on a therapist's couch and reads the family history through his grandfather's autobiography.

I followed that one with She's Come Undone. Again, the story struck me to the core. It's about a woman who eats her way through her depression, until she is morbidly obese. When she goes to college, she ends up worsening her self-esteem through a series of unhealthy relationships and obsessions. She takes a walk on the beach and sees a beached whale dying. She feels inspired and tries to commit suicide in the water. Her failure institutionalizes her and she tries to come to terms with her life.

The only other book of his that I have read is The Hour I First Believed. This one follows a couple whose lives were forever changed by the shootings at Columbine. Caelum and his wife Maureen were both teachers at the school. In fact, Maureen was hiding in a cabinet during the shootings, not sure that she would even survive. She never got over it.

After some time, the couple moves away from Littleton, Colorado to start over on a farm in Connecticut. Unfortunately, some things just cannot be mended with a change of scenery. Some things stay too deeply inside you and must be addressed there.

Wally Lamb also has a couple of other books. I own Wishin' and Hopin': A Christmas Story, but have not yet had a chance to read it. I am sure it will just as moving as these other three.

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