I have been a big Wally Lamb fan for a very long time. I read his first book, “She’s Come Undone” when it was released in 1992. This was just as I was getting going with my first book group and I remember thinking: “wow, this book club is great, I will be this happy with all of the books we read.” Unfortunately that was a bit naïve of me and it has not always been the case. But I loved Wally’s portrayal of Delores, the morbidly obese character in that first book and I fell back in love with reading since now I could read for pleasure in my post-college days.
Next came his second book “I Know This Much is True” which was released in 1998. By that time I was a “READER” and I thought I was pretty hip and happening. I had been in my book group for about 6 years when this one came out, and I remember thinking: wow, my favorite author has done it again! My book group read this 900 plus page novel about twins and bonded once again with Wally.
Then, he went dark for TEN LONG YEARS, until he released “The Hour I First Believed” in 2009 a novel about a couple that lived in Columbine around the time of the school shootings. I read this one on vacation in Belize. I was so excited that I had my husband take a photo of me reading the book and I actually wrote him a FAN letter. I was thrilled beyond belief when he wrote me back and sent me some signed photos.
So let’s just say it: I love Wally Lamb.
I got really excited when I heard his next big monster novel was coming out: “We Are Water.” It was released October 2013 but it took me a while to actually get my hands on it. I am an avid yet ADHD type of reader who cannot sit down and spend an entire day reading a book, except for maybe on vacation. I was not on vacation but I might as well have been last week. I grabbed a hold of this book and wouldn’t let it go. But here’s the bummer: I liked it, but I didn’t love it. DANG.
In this novel Wally brings together a whole family of injured and sad people and each chapter is devoted to a different character. Annie Oh is the mother and she is getting ready to get remarried to a woman. Her ex-husband, Orion, and each of her three children get their own chapters, however, there are many minor characters that get too much air time in this novel. My favorite parts of the novel are when Orion or Annie are narrating. I also enjoyed the chapters that the children get to speak because I realized that parents THINK they know a lot about their children, but Wally does a masterful job of reminding us that our children really only show the part of themselves that they WANT us to know.
I tried to be more tech savvy and I sent Wally a message on Facebook, no photo this time, just a note. So far he hasn’t written me back, but that’s okay. He is still one of my favorite authors. This is a good book that will keep you entertained and remind you that people really only show you the parts of themselves they want you to see.