Jim Lynch's Truth Like the Sun opens with the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, then leaps ahead to 2001, sweeping the entire boom-bust-dreamer mentality of the city into a novel whose characters could step out of the Space Needle elevator today.
Roger Morgan, just 30 when he masterminded the World's Fair, is still a pillar of Seattle politics and society, a silver-haired, back-slapping 70-year-old currently running for mayor. As his campaign launches, Helen Gulanos, a young journalist at a moribund city newspaper, grudgingly researches a 40th-anniversary article on the Fair, but her instinctive reporting turns up secrets Morgan and his loyalists have buried for years, leading to a growing mutual respect between the candidate and the reporter. In an effective then-and-now-chapter format, Lynch (Border Songs) uses memories, reporting and vivid descriptions of the Pacific Northwest to chronicle how the barely post-pioneer-era city of '62 became the symbol of the high-tech early 21st century.
Scenes from the Exposition include walk-ons by Elvis Presley (the title is attributed to an Elvis quote), LBJ and other luminaries of the era, along with the fictional developers, cops, and gamblers who figure in the graft Gulanos uncovers. Helen and Roger are sympathetic characters, and Lynch, a native of the Northwest with a sharp journalistic background of his own, presents Seattle with obvious experience and affection. --Cheryl Krocker McKeon, bookseller