Monday, November 18, 2013

We are Water by Wally Lamb

I have loved everything Wally Lamb has ever written but sadly in the end I did not love this book, I enjoyed a fair proportion of it but it left me  disconcerted rather than satisfied.
The books central character is Annie Oh, who leaves her husband of 27 years for a woman and from here the story fans out to encompass every possible issue that a modern family could encounter and a couple involving death that many but hopefully not all will encounter.
In many ways this book reminded me of She`s Come Undone and much of the humour of that book is a characteristic of this book which is not a bad thing. I read away at quite a pace until about page 500 where in my opinion things just turned a little bit odd and things started to not stack up to my way of thinking.
The characters while well developed were hard in a number of cases to invest in or engaged with especially Viveca, Annie`s beloved, she left me cold. The fact that the characters had issues stemming from their upbringing that were unaddressed or unresolved when Daddy was a Physciatrist and one who apparently didn`t know what was going on in his own house or that his wife of 27 years was a sexual abuse victim defied belief, a more emasculated character that Orion Oh probably doesn`t existed in modern literature but he was a nice guy.
The back stories are well lit and do enhance your understanding of each character but when Kent is introduced and this issue of his abusing Annie as a child is reintroduced, this was really a case of way, way too much information, the reader did not need to know in excruciating detail what had gone on, the fact that it had occurred at all was enough to deal with and Kent`s reappearance at Annie`s wedding was farcical to say the least and the outcome of his attendance at the wedding again defied belief especially as hello... there were no consequences except emotionally for Andrew and that was not enough, as in an earlier incident murder basically went unpunished in this book, that you could understand but twice.....
And so the book went; tragedy after tragedy, issue after issue, a wee bit like a revolving door, the book was awash with them but unlike Lamb`s earlier books which tend to be issue driven, there was none of the warmth or humanity that made his earlier books such treasures.
All in all, this was not a book I liked much  and while I did push on until the last page and while the ending was probably fitting, it didn`t leave me satisfied, I really could have cried that a book from an author I so love left me feeling the way I did.
In saying all I have, you may wish to read it and you may think I`ve been a bit harsh, that`s fine.
Available at all good Booksellers and via the Library System.

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