Truth Like the Sun came from a book club that I completely failed to keep up with. It was printed in 2012, and focuses on the 1962 World’s Fair, which took place in the city of Seattle. The story is a work of fiction that gives the readers some very interesting fictional characters, mixed with things that were actually a part of the Fair in the real world.
One of the main characters is Roger Morgan, a man who was instrumental in convincing Seattle to hold the 1962 World’s Fair. He was already well known before that, and could attract a crowd of people wherever he goes. Years later, Roger Morgan decides that he is going to run for Mayor of Seattle at the age of 70.
Helen Gulanos is a single mother of Elias, who is a preschooler. She works as a reporter and has been given the assignment of writing something about Roger Morgan. At first, it felt like filler and caused her to be stuck in quiet rooms searching for information to fill the article with.
Things change when her fellow reporters discover that Roger Morgan was holding a meeting (of sorts) that night with an announcement. Helen rushes over to make sure that the newspaper she works for gets this “scoop” first.
This is where things get complicated. Helen’s reporting has dug up things about Roger Morgan’s past that he might find embarrassing if brought to light. There is some evidence that Roger might have done some sketchy things in the past that might have been illegal. The newspaper wants to post the information as soon as possible – before other papers beat them to it.
Roger, on the other hand, appears to really want to win the Mayoral race. He still has plenty of fans (most of them older than he is) who would vote for him. To me, it seems like Roger wants to go back to the “old days” when everyone knew his name and wanted to shake his hand.
The book goes back and forth between shortly before the 1962 World’s Fair opened, and 2001, the current timeline. Readers are able to get inside the head of both Roger Morgan and Helen Gulanos. Eventually, the scattered parts of Roger’s past begin to fit together.
Some of the characters included in this story (or, at least, mentioned) are real people. This includes a very famous singer who delivers the line that the book is titled with. Several other famous names are included in different parts of the story.
One of the most interesting things about this book is that it gives the reader a lot of real-world information about the Fair. It took place during the Cold War, the Space Race, and the Cuban missile crisis. The Space Needle was built in the Seattle Center for the 1962 World’s Fair.
Just to clear things up: Roger Morgan and Helen Gulanos are fictional characters, created by the author.
If you want to learn more about the 1962 World’s Fair, I recommend Seattle Municipal Archives, Wikipedia’s Century 21 Exposition, and Wikipedia’s information about the Space Needle.
Truth Like the Sun – by Jim Lynch, is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites.
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