Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, November 10, 2013

We are Water by Wally Lamb...

How I Heard About It:   I love reading middle-grade books.  But I also love to read adult books.  One of my most favorite authors is Wally Lamb.  Back in 1997 I came across a book called I Know This Much Is True.  At some 900 pages, I could not put it down and became completely obsessed with this "mega" novel.  It has remained my favorite adult book to this day.  After reading it, I then read Wally's first novel She's Come Undone.  Again, I was blown away by his writing.  It took years for his third novel to be released.  The Hour I First Believed was another "large" novel and one that I couldn't put down.  I even had the opportunity to meet Wally here in the Twin Cities and have two of these books autographed.  Last spring I came across an article that Wally Lamb would be releasing a new novel in the fall of 2013.  I waited with excitement and anticipation of what the new book would bring!  

What It Is About:    To summarize this story is no easy feet.  Wally Lamb brings another family saga full of complex characters, family secrets, and history intertwining with the present.  Annie and Orion Oh have been married for over some 20 years.  They are three children.  A set of twins and a third daughter.  Orion is a therapist and Annie is an artist.  As Annie's career sky rockets and she begins to spend more and more time in New York, she meets Viveca.  Annie divorces Orion and decides to spend her life with Viveca and the two plan to marry now that gay marriage is legal in some states.  What follows is an incredible story of Annie, Orion, and their three children.  Another part of the novel is the story of a black artist named Josephus Jones who had lived on the Oh property years earlier.  As the two stories come together, you learn of the shattering secrets that Annie and her cousin Kent have been keeping for years.  There is so much more to this novel, but I will just let you experience them when you read it yourself!

What I Thought Of ItIf you haven't figured it out yet, I love Wally and love his books.  To me this book did not disappoint.  All the excitement and anticipation of the novel was well worth the wait.  The day the book came out I had parent/teacher conferences that night, but came home to the novel sitting on our kitchen table.  I have the best wife in the world.  In the first few days I didn't have the time I wanted to sit down and enjoy this book.  I would read a chapter or two, but then run out of time, or fall asleep at night.  I found myself with an entire day (yesterday) to relax and completely immerse myself into this novel.  Donalyn Miller would call this "BINGE" reading.  The story took a hold of me and didn't let go until the very last page.  Actually, the story still hasn't let go of me as I'm thinking of the story, the characters, and the emotion I fell toward the story.  The story was emotional, thought-provoking, and touching.  At times it was disturbing because of the subject matter, but was written with such honesty and insight.  

Who Should Read It:    Everyone should read this book.  Everyone should read the other Wally Lamb books.  You will not be disappointed.  I knew this would be such a great story that I picked it for my #ABCT (Adult Book Club on Twitter).  Even if you only read middle-grade novels, please take some time in your reading life to give Wally Lamb a chance.  No matter which book you start with, I know you will not be disappointed.  Happy Reading...

Rating:  5+ STARS out of 5 Stars!



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