I have read two of Wally Lamb's other books, I Know This Much is True, and The Hour I First Believed. I also live in Eastern Connecticut, within 20 miI have read two of Wally Lamb's other books, I Know This Much is True, and The Hour I First Believed. I also live in Eastern Connecticut, within 20 miles of Norwich (Three Rivers) and I follow the author's career with special interest. I was very pleased to see that he had completed another book, because I remember how long an interval separated his previous two books.
The Goodreads summary of We Are Water covers the story line of the book very well. I can only add a few thoughts. First, the author's storytelling improves with each book. In this new novel, the story moves at a more rapid pace, although Wally Lamb is seldom in a hurry just to punch out the story. His focus is always on the characters, their deepest thoughts and feelings, their human desires and failings. Also, I listened to the audiobook edition of this book and enjoyed the multiple narrators for each major character, including Wally Lamb reading the part of Orion Oh, the father. The fact that We Are Water is told from multiple viewpoints brings up my second comment. The author's multiple narrators allowed him to penetrate each character to a very deep level, uncovering both the truth and the lies that each person tells.
We Are Water is a very dark story, at times, involving tragic accidental deaths, child molesting, parental abuse of children, crime, anger, divorce, and the resulting disintegration of several lives. The darkness does lift, however, and the sun does shine on the lives of the survivors.
Wally Lamb spins his narrative slowly but very thoughtfully and artfully. I think that I understand his main characters very completely and know why tWally Lamb spins his narrative slowly but very thoughtfully and artfully. I think that I understand his main characters very completely and know why they act as they do, whether for good or evil. I particularly liked the author's use of a memoir written by the main character's grandfather to explore the lives of the grandfather, his daughter, her twin sons, and many minor characters. The contribution of Dr. Patel, a psychiatrist who reappears in The Hour I First Believed, is also well-handled by the author. Because I live in Eastern Connecticut, near Norwich (the Three Rivers of the novels), I also like the use of local history and landmarks. I have yet to meet the author but know that he often speaks in the local area....more