In middle age, Anna Oh - wife, mother, outsider artist - has shaken her family to its core. After twenty-seven years of marriage and three children, Anna has fallen in love with Vivica, the wealthy, cultured, confident Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her professional success.
Anna and Viveca plan to wed in the Oh family's hometown of Three Rivers in Connecticut, where gay marriage has recently been legalized. But the impending 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.
Pages: 561 (hardcover)
Publisher: Published October 22nd 2013 by Harper
Rating: 9 out of 10
Source: Checked out of library
Date Completed: March 7, 2014
I loved Wally Lamb even before I read any of his books. When I was living in New Orleans, I attended the Tennessee Williams literary festival and heard him speak; he had a wonderful spark and I liked hearing how the plots for his books developed. He also did a writing exercise with the group and I wish I could remember his words exactly, but his passion for working with women in prison was inspiring. He was also a great sport and took a picture with my friend and me. Since then, I read and enjoyed I Know this Much is True and She's Come Undone.
I was very excited to read We are Water even though the premise seemed a little dark. Parts of the story were hard to get through and others were disturbing. Sometimes, I felt really angry and upset; sometimes, I laughed. No matter what emotion came out, I always wanted to read more. I thought hard about what makes a marriage work, the importance of career, and family connections. I wondered what I would do in the position of all the characters. I was frustrated with what I perceive as a lack of consequences for some terrible behavior.
The biggest surprise is how well characters who are easy to hate because of things they have done evoked some sympathy from me. I did not like them, but I did not hate them with as much vengeance as I thought when I reflected on the story. My favorite characters were all three of the kids and my least favorite were the parents. The complexity of family relationships and the ways childhood shapes adulthood were examined pretty well.
I am counting this book for the following challenges:
2014 Chunkster Reading Challenge: At 561 pages, this is certainly a chunkster.
What's in a Name 2014: for the category of a type or element of weather as water qualifies as an element of rain