Synopses & Reviews
We Are Water
is a disquieting and ultimately uplifting novel about a marriage, a family, and human resilience in the face of tragedy, from Wally Lamb, the New York Times
bestselling 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 familys hometown of Three Rivers in Connecticut. But the wedding provokes some very mixed reactions and opens a Pandoras 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.
“We are water: ‘fluid, flexible when we have to be. But strong and destructive, too. Thats evident in this emotionally involving new novel from the author of Shes Come Undone….Clear and sweetly flowing; highly recommended.” Library Journal, starred review
“Through alternating perspectives this addicting novel reveals how secrets can define a person and wreak havoc on her loved ones.” Real Simple
“Wally Lambs latest, WE ARE WATER, works the same magic as his 1992 Oprah-anointed breakthrough, Shes Come Undone, capturing a snapshot of modern life (class struggle, racial violence) through the lens of a family faced with jarring news from its matriarchal figure.” Out.com
“…this family saga is hard to put down.” Entertainment Weekly
“Its a sign of a good novel when the reader slowly savors the final chapters, both eager to discover the ending and dreading saying goodbye to the characters. We Are Water is a book worth diving into.” USA Today, 4-star review
“True to his talents, Lamb finds a way to incorporate in other diverse elements into WE ARE WATER -- a natural disaster, racial injustice, American life during the Obama years, even a bit of a ghost story - to add heft and depth to this painfully honest, character-driven family drama.” Miami Herald
“Lamb excels at delivering unexpected blows to his characters, ratcheting up the suspense to the final page.” Publishers Weekly
“We all know that life is tangled and messy. Still, in reminding readers of this fact, Lamb turns in a satisfyingly grown-up story, elegantly written.” Kirkus
“In his singularly perceptive voice, Lamb immerses his characters and the novels readers in powerful moments of hope and redemption and shocking descriptions of violence and abuse… fascinating.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Wally Lambs fifth work of fiction…is a mesmerizing novel about a family in crisis that pulls together many characters and diverse themes and sets the bulk of its action against our collective modern angst and ambivalence.” Miami Herald
“Alternating voices of the wife, husband and their three children pain a vivid portrait of a marriage and reveal the shifting meaning of family.” Ms. Magazine
“So far my favorite scene involves the throwing of multiple glasses of Bordeaux at three Vera Wang wedding dresses. At least you know you wont be bored People.com
“Wally Lamb delivers a powerful and engaging novel filled with complexities and intricacies of human nature and family dysfunction. . . this is a book not to be missed.” The Advocate
Annie Oh—wife, mother, and artist—has shaken her family to its core. After twenty-seven years of marriage and three children, Annie has fallen in love with Viveca, the wealthy, cultured, confident Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her professional success. The two plan to wed in the Oh family's hometown of Three Rivers, Connecticut, where gay marriage has recently been legalized. But this provokes 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.
Told in the alternating voices of the Ohs—nonconformist Annie; her psychologist ex-husband, Orion; their do-gooder daughter Ariane and her rebellious twin, Andrew; and the free-spirited youngest Marissa—We Are Water is vintage Wally Lamb: a compulsively readable and uplifting masterpiece that digs deep into the complexities of the human heart to explore the ways we search for love and meaning in our lives.
About the Author
Wally Lamb is the author of four previous novels, including the New York Times and national bestseller The Hour I First Believed and Wishin' and Hopin', a bestselling novella. His first two works of fiction, She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True, were both number-one New York Times bestsellers and Oprah's Book Club selections. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Christine. The Lambs are the parents of three sons.