Monday, January 20, 2014

We Are Water

Wally Lamb did not shy away from tackling a host of disturbing issues:  pedophilia, incest, racism, murder, violent death or disfigurement...

The story focuses on Annie and Orion Oh who divorce after 27 years of marriage because Annie falls for a woman, Viveca.  But the book is written from a multitude of perspectives - Annie and Orion, each of their three adult children, Ariane, Andrew and Marissa, and people from their pasts - notably Annie's cousin Kent and a woman who knew the details of the murder of a black man in the 60s but carried them to her grave.

The book is intriguing though it does jump around a little bit - in time as well as perspective - so it took a while to get into it.  It really explored the way many lives can be ruined by suppressed secrets from childhood, parental abandonment or abuse, and the failure to be sensitive to the needs of those closest to you.  It ends with both Annie and Orion facing their difficult pasts - and you sense both they and their children will be healthier for it.  And their son Andrew is also toying with coming clean on a big secret which may finally give him some peace.

Overall I enjoyed the book but because of the topics it was at times very heavy and frankly kept me up at night thinking...

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