We Were the Mulvaneys

We Were the Mulvaneys

Book - 1996
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Penguin Putnam
An Oprah Book Club® selection

A New York Times Notable Book


The Mulvaneys are blessed by all that makes life sweet. But something happens on Valentine’s Day, 1976—an incident that is hushed up in the town and never spoken of in the Mulvaney home—that rends the fabric of their family life...with tragic consequences. Years later, the youngest son attempts to piece together the fragments of the Mulvaneys’ former glory, seeking to uncover and understand the secret violation that brought about the family’s tragic downfall.

Profoundly cathartic, this extraordinary novel unfolds as if Oates, in plumbing the darkness of the human spirit, has come upon a source of light at its core. 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.

“It’s the novel closest to my heart....I’m deeply moved that Oprah Winfrey has selected this novel for Oprah’s Book Club, a family novel presented to Oprah’s vast American family.”—Joyce Carol Oates

Random House, Inc.
A New York Times Notable Book and a former Oprah Book Club® 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.



Baker & Taylor
The Mulvaneys, at first a close and very lucky family, drift apart over the years, until the youngest son, Judd, discovers the secret of their downfall and sets out to help reunite the family

Publisher: New York : Dutton, [1996]
Copyright Date: ©1996
ISBN: 9780452282827
0452282829
9780525942238
0525942238
Branch Call Number: FIC Oates, J 1996
Characteristics: viii, 454 pages ; 24 cm
Audience: Accelerated Reader AR UG 7.4 30.0 56913

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i
ihath
May 16, 2016

well written and heartbreaking

CousinRachel Sep 11, 2012

A magnificent, complex book that chronicles the downward spiral of an ordinary family caught up in an event that might have happened to any family.
Oates' insight into the human psyche continues to amaze me.

d
dera444
Jun 08, 2012

Good family saga. I like Oates writing style.

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dera444
Jul 28, 2012

In her 26th novel, Joyce Carol Oates has written a rich, complex saga about a seemingly ideal family that is suddenly rocked by the date-rape of 16-year-old Marianne Mulvaney. This shattering event touches off an extraordinary journey into 25 years of shameful secrets and despair, culminating in the unforseen miracles that can bring a family closer together. Making We Were the Mulvaneys her first Oprah's Book Club™ selection of 2001.

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