Tuesday, August 20, 2013

We Are Water by Wally Lamb

When you hear the writer Wally Lamb's name, you expect nothing but great writing. After all he did bring us She's Come Undone & I Know This Much is True.  His new book We Are Water, due out in November, is a very good book.
It is the story of the Oh family.  Annie Oh is a housewife to Orion Oh who is a college pysch counselor. They have three children, a boy & two girls. Annie discovers her artistic side when she starts making collage type pieces of art work in the basement of the family home while the kids are sleeping. These pieces of work tend to lean toward anger and violence, so you begin to wonder what secrets Annie is hiding. But wait... there is a  story within the story ... a tale of a talented black artist, working as a laborer many years before, who happened to live on the same property as the Oh's now do.  Annie's work brings Viveca, a NY art dealer into her life and after 27 years of marriage, Annie decides to divorce Orion and marry Viveca. Add murder and floods, and you have a story that is just barreling toward a tragic end.
This is a complex story, where the past and the present are uniquely intertwined. There came a point in the reading of this book that I really believed the Oh family had to have been cursed somewhere along the line. So many just plain bad things were happening to good people.

I did enjoy Lamb's "We Are Water"   and recommend it for good fall reading.

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