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
Lover of books with no time to read. I spend a lot of time in the car, this medium allows me to catch up on my missed reading.
Although the content of the book was at times very disturbing and difficult to listen to, it was pivotal to the story and the insight into the characters in this well written story. Wally Lamb is a master storyteller.
I had a love hate relationship with Annie
I do not usually like when multiple actors read the story, but I think t added a needed dimension.
Really enjoyed all the characters and their interconnected stories. Multiple narrators made listening to this book even better.
Wally Lamb is a mater of character development. This book is an absolutel testament to that. After finishing it, I find myself still thinking about the characters.
Annie Oh. She was so flawed and complex. I felt as though I knew her. Kent was definitely my least favorite, which is not surprising given his flaws, but he was well written nonetheless.
Orion Oh. Partly because I knew that it was Wally Lamb reading it.
Yes. I listen to books on my morning commute and found myself sitting in the parking lot at work more than once to finish a chapter.
Yes, it kept me interested in the richly fleshed-out characters and the captivating story.
She's Come Undone
Secrets Steal Life
The narrators kept me coming back for more. I had to find out how these characters dealt with their demons.
I'm a retired woman living in a coastal rural area on the mid-north coast of NSW. There's a lot of work to do around the property and listening to a good book while doing it is just 'the best'.
Yes, later. I'm sure that I will get more from it when I do. The character development was excellent and the 23+ listening hours that I hoped would last me a month were devoured in less than a fortnight.
Though told from the viewpoint of several characters, Orion was the storyteller. A flawed character like all of them (and us) his narrative was the strongest, his growth the most believable and his emotional responses the ones that spoke to me most successfully.
I was dubious about multiple narrators, expecting it to be a bit 'forced' but truly it was quite the opposite. They all did an excellent job and the variety of spoken voices enhanced the multi-viewpoints of the story.
yes. the narrators are all terrific. the interview with Lamb at the end was a bonus you don't get in print.
Orion. a thoughtful and kind person.
articulate, well-paced, made the characters real.
excellent writer, story teller. sometimes hard to listen to but only because the characters were so authentic.
I'm always surprised when I read/listen to a book and am just taken with it and then I read the reviews of other listeners and find that some could not stand the readers, the story, blah blah blah.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book although the subject matter was pretty tough to hear at times. Wally Lamb certainly captures the essence of complicated family dynamics. I totally loved having different actors read the parts. It made the story so much more dimensional. I am just sorry that multiple readers isn't always the case (unless Frank Muller was still alive. He could do every character to every book I listen to and I would always want more). Having different readers makes the story come alive for me. I'm hoping that those making the director's decisions reads this review.
Well worth the read if you like/understand the details of intense families and the reflection that accompanies those stories. The interview at the end with Wally Lamb was fascinating also. Understanding that a story manifests itself in the mind of the writer just tickles me.
The endless stream of consciousness, self delusional narration of the characters with no real point. Like listening to hours of Facebook entries. And Annie's voice turns a potentially sympathetic, albeit shallow, character into someone you wish would just stop talking.
I love Wally Lamb's writing, so no.
There are too many reasons to enumerate
This is the best book I've listened to in years! I believe narrators were spot on. I think this is Wally Lamb's best. His bold portrayal of Kent, the pedophile, while disturbing, was inciteful without being sympathetic.
Annie. She's a great study of what can happen when one fails to deal with emotional trauma by bottling up her past.
The various narrators enhanced my ability identify with all of the characters. I was surprised that the author's narration was so good. Too many times authors are not good narrators, especially fiction writers.
As a long time (15+ yrs) audible listener, I rank this in the top 5 novels.
Disappointed. Surprised at lack of ending. Still had some wonderful writing but fell flat as a whole. Wally Lamb usually writes a well rounded story with a beginning, middle and end. This book was too long and lacked Wally Lamb's usual well developed plot lines. Hoping that his next book gives us the caliber and kind of writing we expect from Mr. Lamb. Nobody hits it out of the park every time.
Narration really added to the book. I read the book as well as listen to it and the audiobook was much better.
Orion Oh. Would like to ask him why he seemed like such a strong and honest man on one hand, but then contradicted himself with some of the actions and thinking he engaged in. I initially really liked this man but found myself wavering my thoughts about his character as time went on. Kind of a roller coaster like/dislike/ reactions I had as the story progressed. I could not decide how I felt about him until the last half when he seemed to give up and lost his strength and honesty. Not the man I thought he was.
This book was one I was looking forward to for so long and perhaps I am being too judgmental in my feelings about this book, now that I have finally been able to read/listen to it. It is a good enough book...just not on the level I expected considering that Wally Lamb wrote it.
It started out well enough, got my interest initially but it became tedious and a bit boring after a couple hundred pages. I wish that Viveca played a bigger role in the story for one thing. Other characters that were initially introduced never really re entered the story, if at all, until the ending section. I usually love Lamb's descriptions and his ability to develop characters. You feel like you really get to know them and you care about them or not. And I've always felt invested in the characters. His books She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True are both outstanding novels. This characters in this book didn't really evoke the kind of emotional response that I usually expect when I am reading one of Lamb's books.
There seemed to be an excess amount of psycho-babble that just didn't feel right. Although Orion is a psychologist, I felt as if all the characters were "analyzed" rather than developed as people with certain traits and characteristics that were written about and the reader got to know these people through the descriptions, conversation, actions etc. In We Are Water I felt as if everyone was presented as if they were all clients of a psycholigist or social worker.And as a result the characters never felt very real to me and it was hard to be very interested in some cases. There were times when I felt I got a glimpse of who someone was all about but somehow they ended up kind of two dimensional to me.
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