We Are Water

Posted February 15, 2014 by The Book & Alcohol Girls in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

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I received this book for free from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

We Are Water Book Cover We Are Water
Wally Lamb

We Are Water is a disquieting and ultimately uplifting novel about a marriage, a family, and human resilience in the face of tragedy, from Wally Lamb, the New York Times bestselling author of The Hour I First Believed and I Know This Much Is True.

After 27 years of marriage and three children, Anna Oh—wife, mother, outsider artist—has fallen in love with Viveca, the wealthy Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her success. They plan to wed in the Oh family’s hometown of Three Rivers in Connecticut. But the 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 a layered portrait of marriage, family, and the inexorable need for understanding and connection, told in the alternating voices of the Ohs—nonconformist, Anna; 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. 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 compassion, Wally Lamb brilliantly captures the essence of human experience and the ways in which we search for love and meaning in our lives.

“We are like water, aren’t we? We can be fluid, flexible when we have to be. But strong and destructive too. And something else, I think to myself. Like water, we mostly follow the path of least resistance.”

Seeing as Wally Lamb is my favorite author I was extra excited to read this book. It definitely did not disappoint. On the surface, this is a story of a broken marriage. Of a wife and mother of three who leaves her husband for another woman. If you have read some of his previous works, you already know that there is going to be so much more to the story. Pour yourself a large glass of red wine and keep the bottle nearby

There are so many heavy issues that are dealt with in this story, divorce, sexual abuse, loss of a parent, alcoholism, the list goes on. I know this makes it sound like a depressing story but it’s not all bad. The real heart of the story is learning to cope with what life has given you and making the most of it. Buy another bottle of wine.

The thing I love the most about his novels is the way everything is so layered. You have to pay attention to things that may seem insignificant at the time as it will certainly come full circle in the end. There is always some intertwined story that seems to not have anything to do with the rest until the end. This is not to say that everything gets tied up and placed in a nice package with a bow on it. Many things are just inferred and if you haven’t been paying attention you will miss out on these gifts.

Annie Oh is an artist, a mother, and an ex wife and is about to be remarried. To a woman. Her husband Orion is left to deal with not only being left but being left for another woman. Their children are also forced to deal with aftermath of her decisions. Annie also has secrets from her childhood that have shaped everything she has ever done in her adult life. Things she has never shared with anyone. Not even her husband or her soon to be wife. Of course this only begins to scratch the surface of the entire plot of the story.

This novel reminds me of the concept of the butterfly effect. One small action effects so many things. It is not until the end that we learn what started everything. I can honestly say there is not one thing I disliked about this story. I laughed, I cried, I had a book hangover when I finished.

5 stars and at least 2 bottles of Merlot! Enjoy.


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