Today I’m recommending ‘We Are Water’ by Wally Lamb. I think he’s most known for his debut novel, ‘She’s Come Undone’ which was a great coming-into-adulthood story. This one is about a complicated family. Mom, an artist, comes out to her kids and announces she’s getting married, forcing them all to deal with painful truths about their family. One of the remarkable things about this book other than how insightful it is, is that much like his other books (other than his first) he manages to write upwards of 700 pages and make every word seem absolutely essential. His other book that I love, love, love, ‘I Know This Much is True’ is now showing on HBO as a limited series. If you watch, prepare for the waterworks.
Here’s my review of ‘We Are Water’ from back when I first read it:
We Are Water by Wally Lamb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Best of 2016 for me. It took me a while to get through this one, but not because it wasn’t good. On the contrary, I read slowly because it was AMAZING. This is the first book I’ve read in a long while where every single character–main and supporting–felt layered and complicated. I empathized with them all, every single one of them, even while I liked some and disliked others. As a reader, this type of fiction is my sweet spot. I also love that Wally Lamb bucks convention and doesn’t feel compelled to confine his work to 350 pages to make it “marketable”. I love that he never strikes a false note in the interests of sounding “literary”. His writing is just true, and clear and completely authentic. I can see, however, how this book and books of this type are not for everyone. It jumps back and forth between voices, and in time and it takes a certain level of commitment to trust the author, and believe that the different narrative strands will come together. Well, I believed, and am so glad I did. From here on out, I will follow wherever Wally Lamb takes me. Looking forward to reading his latest release.
View all my reviews
And in case you’re curious about the HBO series for ‘I Know This Much is True’ here’s the trailer with the amazing Mark Ruffalo.