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We Are Water

Cover of We Are Water

We Are Water

A Novel

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.

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.

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Awards-
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.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 4, 2013
    Set mostly in Connecticut, Lamb's (She's Come Undone) fifth novel takes on race, class, sexuality, and art, sometimes clumsily, yet the complex plot is captivating. On the brink of her second marriage, artist Annie Oh fis plagued by "lifestyle guilt." After a tormented childhood—a flood that killed her mother and sister; a stint in foster care; abuse at the hands of her cousin—Annie leaves her husband, Dr. Orion Oh, for a woman: art dealer Viveca Christophoulos-Shabbas. The Ohs' three children—all grown—accept their mother's decision, though Andrew is more reluctant than his sisters, Marissa and Ariane. Lamb seems eager to include many permutations of American identity: Orion is Chinese-Italian, Viveca is Greek–and previously married to an Arab man to boot. A section narrated by a Ku Klux Klansman's widow is unconvincing, torn between racism and apology. However Lamb excels at delivering unexpected blows to his characters, ratcheting up the suspense to the final page. Agent: Kassie Evashevski,United Talent Agency.

  • Library Journal, starred review

    "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."

  • Minneapolis Star Tribune

    "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."

  • The Advocate

    "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."

  • Miami Herald

    "Wally Lamb's 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."

  • Entertainment Weekly

    "...this family saga is hard to put down."

  • Real Simple

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

  • USA Today, 4-star review

    "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."

  • Ms. Magazine

    "Alternating voices of the wife, husband and their three children pain a vivid portrait of a marriage and reveal the shifting meaning of family."

  • Publishers Weekly

    "Lamb excels at delivering unexpected blows to his characters, ratcheting up the suspense to the final page."

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