We Are Water

We Are Water

A Novel

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
17
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In middle age, Annie Oh--wife, mother, and outsider artist--has shaken her family to its core. After twenty-seven years of marriage and three children, Annie has fallen in love with Viveca, the wealthy, cultured, confident Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her professional success.

Annie and Viveca plan to wed in the Oh family's hometown of Three Rivers, Connecticut, where gay marriage has recently been legalized. But the impending wedding provokes some very mixed reactions and opens a Pandora's box of toxic secrets--dark and painful truths that have festered below the surface of the Ohs' lives.

We Are Water is an intricate and layered portrait of marriage, family, and the inexorable need for understanding and connection, told in the alternating voices of the Ohs--nonconformist Annie; her ex-husband, Orion, a psychologist; Ariane, the do-gooder daughter, and her twin, Andrew, the rebellious only son; and free-spirited Marissa, the youngest Oh. Set in New England and New York during the first years of the Obama presidency, it is also a portrait of modern America, exploring issues of class, changing social mores, the legacy of racial violence, and the nature of creativity and art.

With humor and breathtaking compassion, Wally Lamb brilliantly captures the essence of human experience in vivid and unforgettable characters struggling to find hope and redemption in the aftermath of trauma and loss. We Are Water is vintage Wally Lamb--a compulsively readable, generous, and uplifting masterpiece that digs deep into the complexities of the human heart to explore the ways in which we search for love and meaning in our lives.

Publisher: New York : Harper, c2013.
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780061941023
0061941026
Characteristics: 564 p.

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m
markd
May 04, 2017

Good story. Believable characters and stuff they wrestle with. Had trouble putting it down - for me the sign of a good story.

s
slarsen
Sep 15, 2014

Yes, I recommend this book - Lamb is an excellent storyteller.

jamilad Jul 18, 2014

Overall really enjoyed it and couldn‘t put it down, though I did find the end almost too much of a wrap-up...

mayfairlady May 11, 2014

Wonderful storytelling.

a
afrances
Apr 30, 2014

Very interesting read. Typical Wally Lamb- at times disturbing- but all around good!

ChristyH Apr 24, 2014

I could not put this book down. The story really drew me in and I enjoyed reading the story from the perspectives of each character.

c
CecileSune
Apr 09, 2014

We Are Water by Wally Lamb is the story of Annie Oh and her family. When she was young, she had a tough childhood: her mother and sister died in a flood, she was a victim of abuse in her own home, and she was in foster care for several years. In fact, she kept many secrets from her husband and children, but her art helped her deal with the painful memories. However, after 27 years of marriage, she has left her husband, Orion. Now, she is about to marry Viveca, an art dealer who gave her her break as an artist. As Orion and their 3 grown children try to come to terms with the separation and the upcoming gay wedding, we learn more about her past and about Josephus Jones, the black artist who used to live in the shack in their backyard before the Oh family bought the property.

The narrative is mostly told from the point of view of each family member: Annie, Orion, their children and Kent, Annie’s cousin. This allows us to be more intimate with the characters and the story. In fact, when Kent is the narrator, we even feel sorry for him, despite his awful actions. This sentiment attests Wally Lamb’s success and skill at writing with different voices. The book also tackles many important and controversial subjects: race, class and abuse. In addition, the link between creativity and madness is very interesting. However, I thought the story was a little bit slow to start and maybe a tad too long, but I’m glad I kept at it because it was definitively worth it.

Please go to my blog, Cecile Sune - Bookobsessed, if you would like to read more reviews or discover fun facts about books and authors.

l
lpodell
Mar 29, 2014

Good characters, good story. Interesting treatment of trauma and mental health in families. Parts rang very true

kelleypoole Mar 03, 2014

Be prepared for the dark parts, as most of Lamb's novels have. It was a good read until the final portion which I found to be trite. It seemed that the author was to interested in getting things all finished. so the final three years are covered in a summative piece. Odd and left me unsatisfied with an otherwise interesting read.

l
Lanny213
Feb 18, 2014

Well written. Good story. Lots of tragedy for one family though although by the end of the book, all is well (sort of). Would recommend.

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