WE ARE WATER was the March 2014 pick in my online book club, The Reading Cove.
I wasn't really looking forward to this book, because I'd previously tried I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE but had chucked it out of total boredom after 100 or so pages. I'm happy to say that I found WE ARE WATER more readable and interesting than that one...BUT. I'm still not a fan of Wally Lamb's writing style.
OMG ~ the characters ramble and ramble and RAMBLE about everything! Including the kitchen sink! Pages and pages of snail's pace meandering. And nothing really happens until you're over halfway through the 560 page book! Then, in the middle of a scene, with about 50 pages left to go, the snail suddenly gets in a big hurry (after 500 pages of crawling!) and jumps 3 years with the turn of a single page!
So the pacing was remarkably uneven, to say the least.
Granted, this is by no means a plot-driven story, it's definitely a character study, but do we really need to have the dots placed soclose together? It's written as if for a middle-school grade level; spoon-feeding the reader to death, and being excessively repetitive by revisiting the same things from each family member's perspective, but without really adding anything new. But of course, the subject matter makes it clearly a book for adult readers.
It's also chock full of tedious and superfluous scenes, such as a character in his car, looking for a house with the GPS directions being quoted, word-for-word! Seriously?? The directions had nothing whatsoever to do with the story, why not just cut to the guy arriving at the house instead of wasting time in the car with lines and lines of what the GPS is saying??
Any wonder the book clocks in at 560 pages?
So, I definitely feel the book could've easily been 200 pages shorter. And what's more, there were also several chapters where you're placed very firmly into the mind of a child molester. And of course, we all need that at least once in our lives, right?
Don't get me wrong, I do think the perspective is an interesting one to explore, but I felt some of the hand-to-body details were definitely gratuitous. It just wasn't necessary to be quite so graphic with such disturbing behavior: a grown man sexually molesting little girls. It's just unnecessary for commercial reading. After all, we're not psychologists researching pedophiles, are we?! We don't need to read that! I actually felt I needed to bathe after reading those scenes. :((
Beyond these issues, the Oh family was an interesting one, and I was able to skim through a lot of the unnecessary ramblings and enjoy the story overall for book club discussion, but I think I'm pretty much done with Wally Lamb. His style of writing is just not for me. C+
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