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December 7, 2013 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: We Are Water by Wally Lamb

We Are Water by Wally LambWe Are Water
by Wally Lamb
Narrated by Wally Lamb (Orion), George Guidall (Gualtiero Agnello), Maggi-Meg Reed (Annie), Tavia Gilbert (Marissa), Richard Ferrone (Kent), Edoardo Ballerini (Andrew), Cynthia Darlow (Ruth), Robin Miles (Dr. Laura), Therese Plummer

Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: HarperAudio
Publish Date: October 22, 2013
Format: Audio, 23 hours | 12 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Intermediate
Rating: 5 of 5

Publisher’s Synopsis:

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.

My Thoughts:

Told from multiple points of view and weaving the past with the present, we gradually learn the story of Annie and Orion, their children and their dysfunctional extended family. Alternating perspectives provided greater insight into the mind of each individual and worked well for this story. The characters were complex and richly developed and the writing was smooth and flowing.

This is a lengthy book and there is a lot going on here. It was not a happy story and it only got darker as the novel progressed, but my interest never waned. After a while I began to feel a little annoyed with Annie’s often selfish attitude, but it wasn’t enough to keep me from enjoying the novel. Even the ending, which I found both satisfying and painful, couldn’t dampen my appreciation for this novel.

Difficult and at times disturbing topics – alcoholism, domestic violence, homosexuality, gay marriage, child abuse, divorce – were handled with sensitivity and expertly woven throughout the story. Kent’s perspective (as a pedophile attempting to justify his actions) was creepy but added another dimension and greater understanding and sympathy towards Annie.

I listened to the audiobook and this was one of the best productions I’ve heard all year (and I listen to about 60 audiobooks a year). The ensemble cast was superb, with each narrating from the point of view of a different character. At over 23 hours, it didn’t feel as long as it was. I couldn’t stop listening. Fortunately for me I didn’t have to stop and had a lot of time to listen over the Thanksgiving holiday as I cleaned the house and prepared the dinner.

Intensely compelling, this is a wonderfully written piece of contemporary fiction and the complexity of modern life in America.

——————————–
Source: Review copy
© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.

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7 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. postingfornow / Dec 7 2013 7:17 am

    I enjoyed reading your review. This sounds like a compelling novel.

    Like

  2. Sue / Dec 7 2013 8:00 am

    I’m glad you wrote this when you did. I almost checked the book out of the library the other day, but thought I should read a review of it first.

    Like

  3. Sheila (Book Journey) / Dec 7 2013 9:59 am

    Wow! One of the best of the year? I have this in book format but you may have just swayed me to audio.

    Like

  4. Suko / Dec 7 2013 10:03 am

    Wow, this sounds great! You listen to 60 audiobooks a year? Wow, again!

    Like

  5. BermudaOnion / Dec 7 2013 4:26 pm

    One thing you can say about Lamb is he’s not afraid to take on tough topics. This sounds amazing! I can’t wait to read it.

    Like

  6. Kailana / Dec 7 2013 6:28 pm

    I am seeing good reviews of this everywhere. I am thinking it will have to be one of my next audiobooks.

    Like

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  1. 2013 Reading Wrap-Up | Under My Apple Tree

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