We Were the Mulvaneys

Joyce Carol Oates

Published by Cengage Gale
ISBN 10: 1587240432 / ISBN 13: 9781587240430
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Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. Light shelving wear with minimal damage to cover and bindings. Pages show minor use. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: The Mulvaneys are blessed by all that makes life sweet—a hardworking father, a loving mother, three fine sons, and a bright, pretty daughter. They are confident in their love for each other and their position in the rural community of Mt. Ephraim, New York. 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. As the years pass the secrets they keep from each other threaten to destroy them, but ultimately they bridge the chasms between them, and reunite in the spirit of love and healing. Rarely has such an acclaimed writer made such a startling and inspiring statement about the value of hope and compassion.

Review: A happy family, the Mulvaneys. After decades of marriage, Mom and Dad are still in love--and the proud parents of a brood of youngsters that includes a star athlete, a class valedictorian, and a popular cheerleader. Home is an idyllic place called High Point Farm. And the bonds of attachment within this all-American clan do seem both deep and unconditional: "Mom paused again, drawing in her breath sharply, her eyes suffused with a special lustre, gazing upon her family one by one, with what crazy unbounded love she gazed upon us, and at such a moment my heart would contract as if this woman who was my mother had slipped her fingers inside my rib cage to contain it, as you might hold a wild, thrashing bird to comfort it."

But as we all know, Eden can't last forever. And in the hands of Joyce Carol Oates, who's chronicled just about every variety of familial dysfunction, you know the fall from grace is going to be a doozy. By the time all is said and done, a rape occurs, a daughter is exiled, much alcohol is consumed, and the farm is lost. Even to recount these events in retrospect is a trial for the Mulvaney offspring, one of whom declares: "When I say this is a hard reckoning I mean it's been like squeezing thick drops of blood from my veins." In the hands of a lesser writer, this could be the stuff of a bad television movie. But this is Oates's 26th novel, and by now she knows her material and her craft to perfection. We Were the Mulvaneys is populated with such richly observed and complex characters that we can't help but care about them, even as we wait for disaster to strike them down. --Anita Urquhart

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Bibliographic Details

Title: We Were the Mulvaneys
Publisher: Cengage Gale
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Good

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