WE ARE WATER, by Wally Lamb, is an in- depth look inside the 27-year marriage of Orion and Annie Oh. Their ups, their downs, their mysteries. Told in multiple voices, this novel is one of the season’s best.
Oh, yeah, I almost forgot, they are just divorced. And Annie is about to marry her new love: a woman who owns the art gallery where Annie’s art is displayed.
This complex and compel
ling novel is full of strong characters. Lamb is the master of character development. This novel is no exception. We find out early on that Annie was left motherless at the age of six. Her mother and sister drowned in a horrific flood. Annie’s father succumbed to alcoholism and abandoned her to odd cousin Kent. From the anger and secrets Annie has kept under wraps for so long, to the secrets that emerge from the mouths of babes, this novel is crammed full of stuff that book clubs will be discussing for years.
Orion and Annie Oh have three grown children. Andrew is engaged to a bible thumper and living in Texas when the story opens. Ariane is Andrew’s twin and is experiencing her own issues. Marissa is the youngest and the most accepting of Annie’s upcoming marriage to Viveca.
What rift would tear apart a marriage of more than a quarter of a century? How do the children handle it? And what of Orion? What does he think of his ex-wife marrying a woman?
This sophisticated novel is not only about the unraveling of a family, it’s also about keeping secrets, and how it’s often a mistake to keep secrets in order to supposedly keep loved ones safe.
Annie Oh begins a career in art late in life. She uses it to vent out her feelings from her childhood. With no intent on success or failure, she becomes a very well-paid and famous artist in her time. And meets Viceca who promotes her art through her gallery in New York City.
Wally Lamb slowly draws you in, then holds you captive as he reels you into his story of the Oh family and the mystery in their past that is at the core of this magnificent story.
My review copy came from Harper Collins publishers. Thank you so much! This one is going on the lecture circuit this season.