Wally Lamb has not created a character that I didn't believe in.
I've read The Hour I First Believe and We Are Water and She's Come Undone, which happens to be the most commonly read based on my conversations.
Although the book's protagonist is Delores, the character I enjoyed the most was her psychiatrist, Dr. Shaw. Maybe I like him because of my vocation lately or maybe because of my own experience with therapy. Early in their relationship, he suggests a radical course of treatment where they would reenact her life together, stage by stage. In so doing they would recreate the narrative. Stage by stage, age by age, they undo her pain.
When I picked up the book, I assumed the story was about her undoing... But in the opposite direction. And for sure, the first 200 pages turned from horror to trauma as if the intent was to describe her undoing in colorful detail.
When I use the term "undone" I picture a sweater unraveling or a knot loosening... I picture something that is supposed to stay done but through actions stronger than itself it fails to stay "done." Delores' life has me wondering about things in life that have been wrapped up tight, meant to keep safely "done." I wonder about the control we wish to have over events, places, things, people in our lives. I wonder about the energy we exert to have things done the way we like it. And I wonder and I realize that things come undone. Sometimes on accident but Dr. Shaw believed they could be undone on purpose.