Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book Review: "We Are Water" by Wally Lamb

We Are Water Wally Lamb
Published Date: October 22, 2013
ISBN-10: 0061941026
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: TLC Book Tours
Recommended for readers who enjoy family dramas

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.

My Thoughts:
Sometimes, when you read a book, you realize that you are not just reading a story--you are reading Literature.  That was my experience with We Are Water.  I almost feel as if I would have to read this, at the very least, one more time to really "get" it.  In this book, Wally Lamb is a master when it comes to bringing real-to-life characters together and tearing them down to their bones.  As a fan of character-driven novels, this was right up my alley.

To be honest, there were things about this book I really didn't like--and that is in no way a criticism.  This is not a book where everything works out just perfectly and all the characters live happily ever after.  There were parts of this novel that were just painful to read--whether because of subject matter (pedophilia and physical abuse) or just because of the raw emotion Lamb brings out.  However, readers are not supposed to like it--they are supposed to experience it.

I finished reading this book only a short while before beginning to write this review and I'm still processing it all.  There were a few areas where I felt the book fell a little flat.  I never really understood why Annie was with Viveca and I wish Lamb had brought us more into the heads of Ariane and Marissa.  But, overall, this was a book that drew me in as few books do.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  I received no other compensation fo this post.

Want to read more?  Check out some of the other stops on this tour!  Links go the blogs, not the specific review.

Tuesday, October 15th: Love at First Book
Wednesday, October 16th: Alison’s Book Marks
Thursday, October 17th: Read Lately
Monday, October 21st: A Bookish Way of Life
Tuesday, October 22nd: Girls Just Reading
Wednesday, October 23rd: The Well-Read Redhead
Friday, October 25th: Drey’s Library
Monday, October 28th: Kritters Ramblings
Tuesday, October 29th: Bibliophiliac
Wednesday, October 30th: Booksie’s Blog
Thursday, October 31st: Lit and Life
Monday, November 4th: Book-alicious Mama
Tuesday, November 5th: BoundbyWords
Wednesday, November 6th: Books Speak Volumes
Thursday, November 7th: Book Hooked Blog
Friday, November 8th: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, November 12th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Wednesday, November 13th: Turn the Page
Thursday, November 14th: Dolce Bellezza

We Are Water
by Wally Lamb


  1. I'm planning on listening to the audiobook. I figured it might be intense but still worth reading (or in my case, listening).

  2. I know what you mean about reading Literature. I'd be interested to see if you'd react differently to any parts of this book on a second (or third) read.

    Thanks for being on the tour!