Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#15: We Are Water (Wally Lamb)

I became a fan of Wally Lamb’s work after reading I Know This Much is True and The Hour I First Believed. (I still haven’t fully figured out She’s Come Undone; maybe I should revisit that book to see if age gives me a different perspective.) I had high hopes for this latest novel from the author and was rewarded with a very enjoyable read.

We are Water traces the life of the Oh family who can be best described as dysfunctional. Orion, a psychologist, is going through a painful divorce from his avant-garde artist wife, Annie. To add insult to injury, Annie has declared that she has fallen in love with her female art agent and will be married in the small Connecticut town the couple raised their family since same-sex marriage is legal in the state.

The three adult children are not without their own problems. As everyone struggles with their own demons, the family gathers one last time for the wedding. As the truth begins to unfold, the reader realizes that each one’s challenges stem from the horrific events of Annie’s childhood that took the lives of her mother and younger sister.

While I hated to see the pain the characters faced throughout the novel, I found its purpose clearly explained by the author in the closing chapter. “‘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.” (p. 560)

We are Water is filled with tragedy, disappointment, and determination. It is a page-turning family drama filled with wonderfully deep characters. This novel is not to be missed!

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