We Are Water is a disquieting and ultimately uplifting audiobook about a marriage, a family, and human resilience in the face of tragedy, from Wally Lamb, the New York Times best-selling 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.
The complete list of narrators includes Robin Miles and Sandy Rustin.
©2013 Wally Lamb (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers
It is as if the readers are talking to you -- telling you their story. It is easy to get lost in their stories and be glad that it is not my story!!
Typical Wally Lamb book. I had a bit of a hard time getting started with the book, but once I did, I couldn't wait to listen to more!
There seems to be moment, at least for me, in the last few books by Wally Lamb where I am going along, enjoying the melodrama for all it's worth, the bad decisions, the broken relationships, and then Wally asks me to jump one hurdle too high.
Annnnnd the spell is broken. I just don't buy it. It is one misfortune too many. This happened for me in the second half of the book with one of the children. I will not get into spoilers but it was at this point where I went, "Nope. This is too much."
Lamb plunges into familiar themes: failed marriages, abusive parents, child molestation, abandoned husbands, repressed wives and random violence. And often times these many stories come off as believable and moving. But just as often I, as the reader, felt manipulated. There was just a little too much handwringing for me.
Each character in We are Water has his or her own sad tale, some sadder than others, but all pandering for your understanding. There is Annie Oh, artist provocateur, who is seeking a new life in the big city with her new love; her ex-husband, who was still trying to come to terms will with his divorce from Annie; there are the children, each struggling to find a foothold on their lives and each struggling to come to terms with their mother's new life.
Is this book badly written? No, of course not. I am glad I read it and will read his next with much anticipation. It is just that this book was heavy-handed, like Lamb doesn't trust the emotions to come through without overt earnestness. In this way the book is different from say a book like Heft where much is in what is not said. This, of course, has been a criticism with most of his work. I just think he was able to pull it off better with his earlier books.
Personal trainer since 1988. Love a good mystery!
Wonderful story. Great subject. Well worth the credit. Helps break ignorance and stereotypes! Love it!
This was a very well performed book. Each character had their own voice.
Wally Lamb's characters are always so well formed. They all had parts I loved and parts I hated.
Yes, but physically impossible due to the length.
I have read his three prior books and listening to this one was amazing.
The narration. Wally Lamb is an incredible narrator. I love the way he speaks. Calming and kind.
I liked Orion the best. He was thoughtful. He was kind. He admitted his failures and took responsibility for his life.
If you are a Wally Lamb fan, this is a must read. The story is a little sad, but interesting and full of thought provoking situations.
Never read better
No favorite, maybe Andrew
It is as it is
I was very impressed with " I know this much is true" but seriously, I became anti-social with this one. I just wanted to listen to my book. The Narration was outstanding, best ive heard in over 100 listens. Well done Wally Lamb, im now addicted to you!
This audiobook was very well narrated and portrayed all the different characters and viewpoints. The book itself was so deep and complex, yet believable. Sometimes disturbing, sometimes heartwarming, it kept me listening intensely for the entire performance.
I would tell a friend that this book is really, really long with too many details. Also, some of the chapters are very graphic. Too graphic for me. I actually skipped Kent's chapters and don't feel like I missed anything.
I've read other Wally Lamb books, and this was my least favorite.
I actually liked Annie's narration. I thought all the narrators were very good and easy to listen to.
Sort of. I really started speeding up the narration rate by half way through the story. It's too detailed.
This book includes pedophilia and rape. It's very graphic. Interesting to listen to Wally Lamb's description on writing those parts.
So...you're telling me I can pay people to read books to me whilst I do other things?
Audible narration is perfectly suited to Lamb's confessional/therapy session style, especially when the characters are read by seasoned actors and established audible narrators. And that includes the author, as Orion Oh, who is no stranger to book readings and narration.
If you've scrolled down this far you already know the book is good; it will hook you from the start, plunge you into some pretty bumpy uncomfortable territory, but will ultimitely leave you feeling uplifted and healed.
Is it Lamb's best? Probably not, but if you've read the others already and are in the mood to get immersed in a long, leisurely listen, you've come to the right book!
The characters are like real people and the story is pretty exciting.
I don't want to put in any spoilers, so I can't say. There are plenty of intriguing surprises.
The character narrated by Wally Lamb himself is a little bit unimpeachable. His vulnerabilities should emerge sooner in the narrative--that's my only critique. I love all the other characters.
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