We Were the Mulvaneys

Front Cover
Penguin, 1996 - Fiction - 454 pages
1185 Reviews
A New York Times Notable Book and a former Oprah Book ClubŪ selection

Moving away from the dark tone of her more recent masterpieces, Joyce Carol Oates turns the tale of a family struggling to cope with its fall from grace into a deeply moving and unforgettable account of the vigor of hope and the power of love to prevail over suffering. The Mulvaneys of High Point Farm in Mt. Ephraim, New York, are a large and fortunate clan, blessed with good looks, abundant charisma, and boundless promise. But over the twenty-five year span of this ambitious novel, the Mulvaneys will slide, almost imperceptibly at first, from the pinnacle of happiness, transformed by the vagaries of fate into a scattered collection of lost and lonely souls. It is the youngest son, Judd, now an adult, who attempts to piece together the fragments of the Mulvaneys' former glory, seeking to uncover and understand the secret violation that occasioned the family's tragic downfall. Each of the Mulvaneys endures some form of exile--physical or spiritual--but in the end they find a way to bridge the chasms that have opened up among them, reuniting in the spirit of love and healing. Profoundly cathartic, Oates' acclaimed novel unfolds as if, in the darkness of the human spirit, she has come upon a source of light at its core. Rarely has a writer made such a startling and inspiring statement about the value of hope and compassion.

  

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5 stars
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4 stars
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3 stars
286
2 stars
177
1 star
128

Lots of character development but not much plot. - Goodreads
Predictable plot with unrealistic outcomes. - Goodreads
I love her writing style. - Goodreads
How very sad and hard to read - Goodreads
I loved this until I got to the ending. - Goodreads
Another disappointing Oprah's Book Club selection. - Goodreads

Review: We Were the Mulvaneys

User Review  - Alexander Leger-small - Goodreads

everyone will say that this novel is sad, is heart-wrenching, is hard to read. all of that is true. but there a constant moments of beauty and depth, all the dimensions of a life lived, and that's ... Read full review

Review: We Were the Mulvaneys

User Review  - Richard - Goodreads

This book started painfully slow for me. I found the characters interesting, but so much detail was given to the Mulvaneys and their relationship that the story hardly moved for the first 150 pages. I ... Read full review

Contents

Storybook House
3
The Doe
15
St Valentines 1976
26
Ringing the Cowbell
32
Family Code
43
Providence
57
Strawberries Cream
65
Secrets
91
Every Heartbeat
137
One by One
189
Valedictory Speech
195
Snow After Easter
206
The Huntsman
235
Tears
307
The Pilgrim
320
The Proposal
345

The Revelation
98
Babies
106
Damaged Girl
114
The Lovers
124
Imminent Mortality
131
RagQuilt Life
352
On My Own
377
Stump Creek Hill
398
Intensive Care
424
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

In addition to many prize-winning and bestselling novels, including We Were the Mulvaneys, Black Water, and Because It Is Bitter and Because It Is My Heart (available in Plume editions), Joyce Carol Oates is the author of a number of works of gothic fiction including Haunted: Tales of the Grotesque (Plume), a 1995 World Fantasy Award nominee; and Zombie (Plume), winner of the 1996 Bram Stoker Award for Best Horror Novel, awarded by the Horror Writers' Association. In 1994, Oates received the Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement Award in Horror Fiction. She is the editor of American Gothic Tales and her latest novel is Broke Heart Blues (Dutton). She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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