We Were the Mulvaneys

We Were the Mulvaneys

Book - 1996
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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
Publisher: New York : Plume, c1996
ISBN: 9780452282827
Branch Call Number: FICTION OATES
Characteristics: 454 p. ; 23 cm


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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.

Jun 08, 2012

Good family saga. I like Oates writing style.


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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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