Tuesday, November 5, 2013

BLOG TOUR: We Are Water by Wally Lamb

Title: We Are Water
Author: Wally Lamb
Genre: Adult Contemporary/Literary Fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: Oct 22/2013
Adquired: Print copy provided by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Hour I First Believed and I Know This Much Is True, a disquieting and ultimately uplifting novel about a marriage, a family, and human resilience in the face of tragedy.

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 Viveca, 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.

We Are Water is an intricate and layered portrait of marriage, family, and the inexorable need for understanding and connection, told in the alternating voices of the Ohs-nonconformist Annie; 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 Oh. Set in New England and New York during the first years of the Obama presidency, 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 breathtaking compassion, Wally Lamb brilliantly captures the essence of human experience in vivid and unforgettable characters struggling to find hope and redemption in the aftermath of trauma and loss. We Are Water is vintage Wally Lamb-a compulsively readable, generous, and uplifting masterpiece that digs deep into the complexities of the human heart to explore the ways in which we search for love and meaning in our lives.


I hate that I'm about to write a less than stellar review. I hate it, because I LOVE Wally Lamb-he has his own compartment in my bookish heart, and though the only other works I read by him was She's Come Undone, I had vowed to love EVERYTHING else he put out. *SIGH* I LIKED it though, I liked We Are Water. I liked the intricacy of the story he wove. As a fierce fan of multiple perspectives, I liked that almost every character in this book got to tell their story. But at the same time, I was slightly overwhelmed by it, and wished, at those moments, that only a single character was holding the reigns. I liked We Are Water though, and I'll tell you why...

Wally Lamb doesn't hound you with metaphors, and poetic writing, and flowery prose, and I wish I could just find him and tell him, in person, just how much I appreciate that. Don't get me wrong, I love me some sugar-sweet writing when I'm in the mood for it, but when I hunker down with a Lamb book, I want what only a Lamb book can give me: a raw sense of reality. We Are Water read with his classic writing style: the characters were vulnerable, and stretched thin, and completely exposed for your relating pleasures. However, because the story was told from the perspectives of about 6+ people, my ability to relate to any one in particular was a difficult feat-I don't feel like I got to know each of them well enough.

Don't let me turn you away. This book was still 20 cuts above a lot of the books out there parading as literary fiction, I'm just getting my qualms well out of the way first, because everything else about We Are Water shot me through the heart. I'm a child of divorced parents, and though my mother didn't leave my father for another female, she still left, and the voids inside of my being were still made. The accuracy with which Wally Lamb described the internal states of each parent rang so true for me: the pull and tug of wanting to remain strong for the children, while at the same time, grieve for their loses where no one could see them. I bared witness to it in my own life, and I was able to put myself into more than one character's shoes-though strangely, not so much the children's, mostly Orion's and Annie's. I couldn't really relate to any of the grown children in this book. Their lifestyles were too many miles away from my own.

It's insane to think that, all the while, there was also an historical aspect happening within We Are Water, and I think, if I'm honest, that that was my favourite part. I loved how everything collided, how moments from the past were brought to the present, and there were those exclamations of "Ah-HA!". Yup, I made those..out loud. It takes a man of serious writing ability to create detail the way that Wally Lamb created detail. To bring ends together, to side-step the plot holes that are so easy to fall in to. I was impressed by this book, and while it wasn't my favourite by him, I was consumed by it. I can guarantee that you'll find something you like within the pages of We Are Water, and for all you die-hard Wally Lamb fans out there..he did it again.

Recommended for Fans of: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Contemporary, Controversial Issues.


Wally Lamb is the author of She's Come Undone, The Hour I First Believed, and I Know This Much Is True. Two were featured as selections of Oprah's Book Club. Lamb is the recipient of the Connecticut Center for the Book's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Connecticut Bar Association's Distinguished Public Service Award, the Connecticut Governor's Art Award, the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, the 1999 New England Book Award for Fiction, and the Missouri Review William Peden Fiction Prize.

He was the director of the Writing Center at the Norwich Free Academy, Norwich, Connecticut from 1989-1998, and an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Connecticut’s English Department. He holds a B.A. in Education and an M.A. in English from the University of Connecticut and an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College. Lamb has served as a volunteer facilitator for a writing workshop at the York Correctional Institute, a maximum-security prison for women, in Niantic, Connecticut since 1999. He has edited two collections of autobiographical essays entitled Couldn't Keep It to Myself: Testimonies from Our Imprisoned Sisters (2003) and I'll Fly Away (2007).

Lamb currently lives in Mansfield, Connecticut with his wife, Christine Lamb, and their three sons, Jared, Justin and Teddy.

Contact Links


Thank-you to Trish from TLC Book Tours for hosting this tour, and to Harper Collins for sending me a print copy to review!

CLICK HERE to follow the rest of the tour

1 comment:

  1. I agree 100% about Lamb's writing. Sometimes that 'raw sense of reality' is almost painful to watch because it's so real and so without pretense.

    Thanks for being on the tour!


Comment love is always appreciated! =)
I will always try my best to comment back!