We Are Water: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


We Are Water is the enthralling story of the Oh family. As Annie prepares for her wedding to the woman who kickstarted her career, her ex-husband and three grown children come to terms the complexities of their new family as well as issues in their own lives. Buried family secrets, trauma, marriage, loss and the meaning of family, Wally Lamb expertly captures it all in this exceptional novel. — Jess Elder

Wally Lamb is a master of challenging fiction about broken people. How long can one family hold back the flood of their secrets? — Chris Linendoll

If you are already a fan of Lamb's intense, character driven narratives, you won't be disappointed by this utterly engrossing novel, which tackles the myriad of issues haunting family - all of which come to a head at the matriarch's wedding to another woman. If you are new to Lamb's writing, this is a great place to start! — Sarah Walcott

Artist Annie Oh astounds her family when she leaves her psychologist husband after a twenty-seven year marriage and three children for another woman, a wealthy, influential New York art dealer. Their impending wedding is the catalyst for revealing layers of generational trauma, is the backdrop for a family's ability to move through tragedy towards hope and healing. — Amy Palmer

November 2013 Indie Next List


“Lamb combines complex characters and an intricate plot with an array of contemporary topics and timeless issues in this engrossing novel. A wife and mother leaves her family to pursue an artistic career and an unconventional relationship. A husband and father abruptly abandons his longtime profession as a psychologist. Their children wonder at these transformations but hide secrets of their own. As the plot develops and the narrative shifts among characters, secrets are revealed and motives become clear to the reader. Essentially, Lamb addresses the longstanding question of whether anyone can really know the truth of another person. The answer is a resounding 'no.'”
— Lynn Beeson, Loganberry Books, Shaker Hts, OH

Description


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 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.

About the Author


Wally Lamb is the author of five New York Times bestselling novels: She’s Come Undone, I Know This Much Is True, The Hour I First Believed, Wishin’ and Hopin’, and We Are Water. His first two works of fiction, She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True, were both #1 New York Times bestsellers and selections of Oprah’s Book Club. Lamb edited Couldn’t Keep It to Myself, I’ll Fly Away, and You Don’t Know Me, three volumes of essays from students in his writing workshop at York Correctional Institution, a women’s prison in Connecticut, where he has been a volunteer facilitator for two decades. He lives in Connecticut and New York.

Praise For…


“It’s 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

“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

“We are water: ‘fluid, flexible when we have to be. But strong and destructive, too.’ That’s evident in this emotionally involving new novel from the author of She’s Come Undone….Clear and sweetly flowing; highly recommended.”
Library Journal, starred review

“This family saga is hard to put down.”
Entertainment Weekly

“In his singularly perceptive voice, Lamb immerses his characters and the novel’s readers in powerful moments of hope and redemption and shocking descriptions of violence and abuse… fascinating.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Wally Lamb’s latest, WE ARE WATER, works the same magic as his 1992 Oprah-anointed breakthrough, She’s 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

“Through alternating perspectives this addicting novel reveals how secrets can define a person and wreak havoc on her loved ones.”
Real Simple

“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

“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

“Lamb excels at delivering unexpected blows to his characters, ratcheting up the suspense to the final page.”
Publishers Weekly


Product Details
ISBN: 9780061941023
ISBN-10: 0061941026
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: October 22nd, 2013
Pages: 576
Language: English
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