Wednesday, October 30, 2013
We Are Water by Wally Lamb
Published October 2013 by Harper
Source: my copy courtesy of the publisher and TLC Book Tours
In middle age, Anna Oh—wife, mother, outsider artist—has shaken her family to its core. After twenty-seven years of marriage and three children, Anna has fallen in love with Vivica, the wealthy, cultured, confident Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her professional success.
Anna and Viveca plan to wed in the Oh family’s hometown of Three Rivers in 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.
Wally Lamb is one of those authors people heap praise on, raving about his writing. He's also one of those writers who, because I'm just that stubborn, I've avoided. Because certainly he can't be that good. He is. At least he is if We Are Water is a good example of what all of his writing is like.
Annie's marriage is the catalyst for Lamb's exploration of family, marriage, homosexuality, racism, violence, loss, abuse and truth. As Lambs moves from one narrator to another in the Oh family, he slowly reveals truths about each of them as they struggle to find their place in this new family dynamic. That shifting perspective also allows Lamb show readers how the "truth" can shift and change.
Along the way, Lamb takes the reader into the past, a past Annie has kept hidden for decades. Although it's apparent early on that she's carrying emotional baggage as the reader begins to see its ripple effects, the truth is only slowly revealed. Readers will feel as though they are reading an emotional mystery that both pulls the reader along through its 500+ pages while at the same time making them want to slow down and savor the story of the Ohs.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour. For other opinions, check out the full tour. Now I have to go get on the Barnes & Noble site and see what other Lamb books I can order for my Nook.