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We Are Water: A Novel Audible – Unabridged

4.1 out of 5 stars 1,617 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 23 hours and 12 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: HarperAudio
  • Audible.com Release Date: October 22, 2013
  • Whispersync for Voice: Ready
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EIRAC86
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. K. Paul on August 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I cherished the experience of reading Lamb's "I Know This Much is True." And I enjoyed "She's Come Undone" as well, but not as much.

"We Are Water" reminds of "I Know This Much is True" in that it explores a family's secrets and sucks the reader in to the point where it's exquisitely uncomfortable to process what you're reading. The subject matter is not lightweight in either book, but still comes across as completely believable. The racism, child molestation, homophobia, etc. are difficult issues to read about from the different characters' point of view, but well worth it to bring you to the book's fabulous conclusion.

Some find his books verbose. I do not. There is no author on the planet, female or male, that can write female characters better than Wally Lamb. His character development, overall, is second to none. (Orion, Annie Oh's husband, is a particularly unforgettable character in this book.)

The Wally Lamb books I've read will never leave me.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In 1963, a dam ruptures and floods a small town in Connecticut, killing several people. Forty-five years later, the daughter of the young mother killed in the tragedy is preparing to join her partner in an elaborate gay marriage ceremony. These two events, and all the things that happen in between, are the basis of this wonderful book.

Annie Oh, first a daughter, then an orphan, then a wife and mother, then an artist, and finally a lesbian lover, has lived a life so full it seems like she has lived more than one lifetime. Through it all, the secrets she keeps from her early childhood affect herself and everyone around her. In the end, she can't continue to hide her past and finally has to confront it.

It's not a terribly complicated story, but the way Wally Lamb tells it is perfect. Details emerge from different points of view until everything is revealed. He focuses on the inner dialogs of the people involved, and in the process we get to know all the characters very well. It's an ambitious way to tell a story, and I don't think very many writers could pull it off as well as he does it. He seems to have a special insight.

In the end, it's not just a book about tragedy and secrets. It's also about forgiveness, redemption, and enduring love. These are not perfect people, but they are very good people. I was glad I got to know them.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Annie Oh, a fiftysomething divorced mother of three grown children, is a master of secrets. But it's the weekend of her second marriage - to a female gallery owner and art dealer -- and her secrets are about to come tumbling out; both those from her childhood, of the wrongs that were done to her, and those from her adulthood, the wrongs that she did to others. This weekend will change the entire course of her family's life. Forever, and not necessarily for better.

I admire the craft behind We Are Water. Wally Lamb has long been a favorite writer of mine and he remains the most astute writer of people and character that I have ever read. In this book he slips effortlessly under the skin of Annie, the lesbian art dealer who is both abused and abuser; her husband Orion, the psychologist who is both professionally astute and personally blind; her older daughter Ariane, the perfectionist with the low self-esteem; her younger daughter Marissa, aspiring actress and practicing alcoholic; and Andrew, my personal most interesting character, the rebellious child turned Army nurse turned born-again fundamentalist. Plus a few other characters with unique relationships to the Ohs, who I won't reveal here, to preserve the surprise. Mr. Lamb practices fictional psychology like a surgeon, with a knife calibrated to the slightest edge; he is precise and brilliant and gets right to the heart of the matter. Also, he has an incredible ability to take on "unsympathetic" characters - molesters and child abusers - and make you glide from understanding them to being horrified by them, all in one smooth narrative flow.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At page 425 of 559 (4 more hours to go on Kindle) I finally stopped reading, wishing I'd done so sooner as I'd give anything to be able to unread the previous chapter narrated by a character who is a pedophile, first about how he was abused and forced to abuse as a very young child, and then he describes abusing a very young girl again and again, in detail, when he is a young man. So disturbing!

I loved Mr. Lamb's previous books but found this one to be poorly written, with lazy, repetitive word choices. For example, over and over characters use the word "that" when describing something (e.g. "that" Chinese restaurant)--to imply that the character to whom they're speaking (and I guess the reader) is familiar with it so no description is necessary. But all those "thats" started really bugging me. Lazy writing--the opposite of being specific.

The lead character, a female artist, makes "angry" artwork that sounds like total garbage and is abusive to her children; her husband/ex-husband is an incompetent shrink; their children unsuccessful; her new partner, an art dealer, seems shallow (I say "seems" because she is barely described even though she's a major part of the plot).

All of the characters seem like bloodless cardboard cutouts and the plot just meanders; more like reading a case file than literature.
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