Wednesday, November 20, 2013

We Are Water; Wally Lamb

Harper & Harper Audio - 2013

Wally Lamb's latest novel, We are Water, is a story about marriage, about family, about emotional pain of the past and moving beyond it all. Anna and Orion Oh were married 27 years and the couple have three grown children: twins Andrew and Ariane are the oldest and Marissa is the youngest.
 
Anna has divorced her husband Orion and is about to marry a woman named Viveca, a wealthy Manhattan art dealer who has helped Anna professionally. As the wedding approaches and the family prepares for and gathers together for the event,  painful secrets involving the various family members are revealed in the form of alternating chapters. 

All of the characters are extremely well drawn.  I liked that each of the children had issues of their own and varying views and concerns about the upcoming wedding. As more and more of the past is revealed about each character, I began to feel like I knew at least a few of these people most of my life. 

Although it took a while, I loved how all of the threads seemed to fall into place about half way through the novel. The author has real talent for creating a controversial story and expertly covering sensitive topics like: child rearing, mental illness, the early death of a parent, alcoholism, life in foster homes and more. Readers need to be aware that there are some graphic depictions of both physical and sexual abuse of minors. There was also sporadic political commentary that might turn off some readers as well.

We Are Water, is very well written, and although it digs deep into the darker side of humans, it's a story that is uplifting as well at times. I was happy to see that the author was able to demonstrates how it is possible to move forward after a painful past. 

4/5 stars

(eGalley provide by publisher and Edelweiss)
(audio download provided by publisher)

14 comments:

  1. Hmmmmm - Wally Lamb is my oldest daughters favorite author. I'm definitely intrigued by this one.

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  2. Lamb does make you think and put yourself in the characters' shoes.

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  3. Well gosh, I guess I have to read this. I have not yet read Wally Lamb, and I do have this on my TBR shelf, but have sort of been waiting to see what other reviewers like you who seem to like similar things, have to say!

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  4. I love Lamb's work even though he does tend to write darker stuff. I can't wait to read this!

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  5. I loved this book so much! The subject matter was most definitely dark, and as you mentioned, difficult to read at times but I did thoroughly enjoy it and was sad when it ended. Lamb's writing seems to be in a class of its own!

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  6. I've loved all of Lamb's novels and certainly plan to read this one, too. Can't wait!

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  7. This sounds interesting. Maybe the way he depicts the characters won't make me as judgmental as I can sometimes be about fictional characters.

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  8. I've read two of this author's books and loved them. I tried the audio of another had set it aside. I probably will read the book though down the road. So, this one appeals to me just because of the author's name, but I also have to say it sounds like a worthwhile read on its own merit.

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  9. This is the second excellent review I've read about this book recently. It sounds like a really good read.

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  10. It does sound dark but interesting!

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  11. I'm listening to this now. I'm about a quarter of the way through and enjoying it. And the narration is excellent.

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  12. Oh this does sound good! I hadn't read any reviews of this one yet so I'm glad to hear you liked it!

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  13. Oh this does sound good. I hadn't read any reviews of it before so I'm glad to hear you liked it!

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  14. Oh, yay. I plan to get this at some point, I have been considering audio, so I am glad you enjoyed it and listened to it on audio. :)

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