Flores’ memoir is a stunning collection of prose and fragments which, through the use of the ocean as an extended metaphor, document the end of two relationships and the beginning of another when all is thought to be lost.
“But so much of any love is questioned because of other love.”
Flores parallels the loss of a long-term relationship with the divorce of her parents. She demonstrates how much we know and believe about love is learnt from the people who raised us. Naively, we assume they must know what love is, until we are in their shoes and we too realise love is as transient as the tides.
“I clouded loving with going because I have loved so many gone things.”
The above line had me in tears because it illustrated how masterfully Flores captures the loss, grief and hopelessness which accompanies love. The frightening fact being, the more we love, the greater loss we come to feel. Flores does not shy away from this truth. She admits love is frightening but that it must be.
This is because one’s journey into love is a feat; a free-fall into fear. Thus, toward the end of the memoir when Flores documents a new love, it is exhilarating, exciting and as if she has defied all of the odds.
“Our love survived love.”
All told, We Died in Water is a raw and honest memoir which explores every shade of the ocean, beautifully; it subverts the genre and becomes a poetic work of art.