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I just love reading a book by Jim Lynch.  He is one of the stars of my hometown and although he has lived elsewhere Jim Lynch has come home to share his family and words with us.   TRUTH LIKE THE SUN is his third novel and was just recently published.  Although not as funny as the other two novels we all enjoyed, this one is true to form.

TRUTH LIKE THE SUN takes place in 1962 and 2001 in Seattle, Washington.  Maybe you remember that a World’s Fair took place in Seattle in 1962 and it was all about the 21Century – visions of the future.  It was amazing that Seattle had the audacity to put on a World’s Fair, let alone that it was all about the future.  I only attended the fair one afternoon as a child (it was very expensive) and I have yet to enjoy the top of the Space Needle.  I have been to the science center many times and once rode the Monorail.  It was wonderful to revisit the things I remembered such as TV phones and the GE home of the future and then compare notes with my smart phone and how my home looks today.  There are lots of those little details in the story to spark the memories.

Lynch’s form in his novels it to take real events of history and compress them into his own time frames. In TRUTH LIKE THE SUN we join the fair activity with the graft of the dark side of several decades:  the Police and Mayoral corruption scandals of protection for gambling and prostitution, the Boeing machinists unions strikes, the planning of the fair and the developers paying their way into scams to route the freeways and maximize the views to build lots of apartments in the downtown corridor.  I knew about all those events but they became clearer as they were superimposed into a short time frame and revealed by a savvy, aggressive reporter who has just moved to town (fresh observations)  is covering the 2001 primary election candidate for Mayor and assigned a retrospective on the World’s Fair for its anniversary. One of the 2001 candidates was the Fair Master in 1962 and because of his love and historical knowledge of the city is known as Mr. Seattle.

My second book group read this book for our September read and was disappointed that the book was not as funny as previous books; overall enjoyed TRUTH LIKE THE SUN.  The two members who had been to the World’s Fair and knew of the scandals and had followed the stories in the news over the years had a stronger favorable opinion of the story.  We thought the woman reporter was quite the pit bull but then she was from the eastern part of the USA and that is always how the east treats Seattle.  The city is very young and very Independent.   Seattle always needs to defend itself from East Coast traditions and control issues.  I believe the author caught that spirit in his writing.

BORDER SONGS was Lynch’s second book and it packaged up the problems and history of the Washington-Canadian border into a one year event of a young man’s first job on the border patrol.  Much of that history has maybe changed now with the legalization of marijuana, but since the border is primarily just a ditch between the two countries I am sure there are more and more problems to be revealed.  There were as many pounds of humor as there were bales of weed floating down the slough!

THE HIGHEST TIDE was Lynch’s first novel and he took 20 years of weather related events that happened here in my city and compressed it into a young boy’s coming of age story that was an unbeatable read and became the city read book for the summer it was popular all across the United States.

Both BORDER SONGS and THE HIGHEST TIDE  have been made into plays and I heard that one was headed for a movie studio soon.

Because Jim Lynch lives in my town he always starts his book tours here and it is before a packed crowd. It is a delightful way to learn history and review what one remembers; a remarkable storyteller.

Jim Lynch on Facebook with a great sailboat picture.

TRUTH LIKE THE SUN is from my own library and I have autographed copies of each of the three books on my shelf.   No one asked me to review this book and I did not receive any remuneration or proof copies.

If you purchase anything from this site from Amazon or Powell’s will receive a few blossoms in my bouquet.  Thank you. Donations also welcomed.

Related Reading:
The Highest Tide
Border Songs (Amazon)

Half As Happy 
Walter’s Muse

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  1. Talon Says:

    It’s neat how he draws upon historical events like that, Patricia. This is the first time I’ve heard of him so thank you for the introduction. As always, a beautifully composed and written review.

    Patricia Reply:

    Yes, condensing history into a 1 year period of history and then looking back 40 years later is extremely interesting. With THE HIGHEST TIDE – I had lived all those events over 16 years of my childhood and 5 years of returning to this city. An interesting coming of age story. With all my relatives in Canada, we made the trip across that border crossing so often – then he added quirky humor!

    An interesting story teller.

    Thank you for your kind words about the writing. Lifts my spirits on the rainy, rainy day :)

  2. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    Like Talon, this is my first encounter with this author. THANK YOU for the WONDERFUL introduction.

    Patricia Reply:

    You are welcome for the introduction and thank you for your faithful tweet! and words.

    THE HIGHEST TIDE was the summer reading book for the City of Rockford, Indiana the year it was published. There were at least 30 cities that chose that book – and now I understand it is going to be made into a movie!

    It is a clever format

  3. Sara Says:

    I’ve always been fascinated by authors who combine history into their stories. It sounds like Mr. Lynch is perfect for you since he deals with the area in which you live.

    I didn’t realize Seattle, Washington held a World’s Fair! I’m not update on my history, obviously. I liked that the author combined this history with the 2001 election. It’s sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for the review, Patricia:~)
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    Patricia Reply:

    It was a very fun read and I attended that World’s Fair as a child and so it was fun to see the author play the scuttle that was going on in the background which was such an adventure as a child for me

    A book I reviewed call THE IDEA FACTORY was also apart of that Worlds Fair – the Home of the Future and that building is now a restaurant here in my city – but all the innovations they were sharing in that fair venue are happening now Homes run by computer controls etc.

    It was a delightful read.
    Thank you for coming by and your delightful comments :)

  4. Sam Juliano Says:

    Wonderful photo of the sailboat on Jim’s Facebook page, and terrific review of the author’s recently-published TRUTH LIKE THE SUN. Great to discuss a local boy who made good, and appreciate the engaging analysis and spirited writing!

    Patricia Reply:

    Thank you for your encouraging words. We are in the middle of quite a wind rain storm and lots of flooding moments and loss of power.

    I am sure there are not sailboats out now.
    It is certainly a fun way to analyze historic events by lumping them all together to see how they effected the future elections.
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