Book Review: Truth Like the Sun by Jim Lynch

Book Review: Truth Like the Sun by Jim Lynch
Truth Like the Sun, Jim Lynch's great new book, is timely, compelling, and emotionally satisfying. In 1962, the city of Seattle is poised for the excitement of hosting the World's Fair, and the Space Needle is the crowning jewel of this event. Young Roger Morgan is the so-called "King of the Fair," as he pushed the city's leaders and financial supporters to throw their weight behind it, and he allegedly designed the Space Needle on a cocktail napkin. He has the world in his hands, with entertainers, world leaders, even married women marveling at what he has created, and he i s proud of the changes he was responsible for bringing to Seattle. Yet as he revels in the glory of the event, he is still looking for something more.

Flash forward to 2001. Seattle is reeling from the bursting of the tech bubble, and crime and incivility have taken hold in the city. Seventy-year-old Roger Morgan, who used his fame from the World's Fair to gain influence as an adviser to countless politicians, surprises the city by declaring his candidacy for mayor, running against an incumbent he had once assisted. Many in the city rush to embrace this one-time king and fringe candidate, while others scramble to figure out exactly who Roger Morgan is, including Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter Helen Gulanos. Driven both by her need to understand Morgan and what he stands for, as well as her desire to write a Pulitzer-worthy story, she throws her all into investigating every corner of Morgan's life, from 1962 until the present. And as she finds h erself drawn by his magnetism, she's also drawn by what she finds out.

The book switches between 1962 and 2001, from Roger's early glory days to his seeking once last fling with fame and power. Lynch does a fantastic job weaving the two narratives, and I found myself in the same quandary as Helen—I wanted to know more about what makes Morgan tick but I was also afraid of what might be uncovered. In this era of news being driven as much by innuendo as fact, I found this book tremendously timely, but at its heart this is the story of a man motivated more by his desire to make his city the center of the world, one who gets caught up in the glory of doing so. I really enjoyed this book a great deal. Lynch is a fantastic writer and all of his books have captivated me in similar ways.