We Were The Mulvaneys

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We Were The Mulvaneys

by Joyce Carol Oates

Plume | January 24, 2001 | Trade Paperback |

2.6667 out of 5 rating. 9 Reviews
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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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 464 Pages, 5.91 × 8.66 × 1.18 in

Published: January 24, 2001

Publisher: Plume

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0452282829

ISBN - 13: 9780452282827

Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18

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– More About This Product –

We Were The Mulvaneys

We Were The Mulvaneys

by Joyce Carol Oates

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 464 Pages, 5.91 × 8.66 × 1.18 in

Published: January 24, 2001

Publisher: Plume

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0452282829

ISBN - 13: 9780452282827

Read from the Book

We were the Mulvaneys, remember us? You may have thought our family was larger, often I''d meet people who believed we Mulvaneys were a virtual clan, but in fact there were only six of us: my dad who was Michael John Mulvaney, Sr., my mom Corinne, my brothers Mike Jr. and Patrick and my sister Marianne, and me—Judd. From summer 1955 to spring 1980 when my dad and mom were forced to sell the property there were Mulvaneys at High Point Farm, on the High Point Road seven miles north and east of the small city of Mt. Ephraim in upstate New York, in the Chautauqua Valley approximately seventy miles south of Lake Ontario. High Point Farm was a well-known property in the Valley, in time to be designated a historical landmark, and "Mulvaney" was a well-known name. For a long time you envied us, then you pitied us. For a long time you admired us, then you thought Good!—that''s what they deserve. "Too direct, Judd!"—my mother would say, wringing her hands in discomfort. But I believe in uttering the truth, even if it hurts. Particularly if it hurts. For all of my childhood as a Mulvaney I was the baby of the family. To be the baby of such a family is to know you''re the last little caboose of a long roaring train. They loved me so, when they paid any attention to me at all. I was like a creature dazed and blinded by intense, searing light that might suddenly switch off and leave me in darkness. I couldn''t seem to figure out who I was, if I had an actual name, or many
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From the Publisher

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.

About the Author

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.

Editorial Reviews

"It will consume you." --The Washington Post Book World

"New testimony to Oates'' great intelligence and dead-on imaginative powers. It is a book that will break your heart, heal it, then break it again every time you think about it." --Los Angeles Times Book Review

"What keeps us coming back to Oates Country is her uncanny gift of making the page a window, with something happening on the other side that we'd swear was like life itself." --The New York Times Book Review

"A major achievement that stands with Oates' finest studies of American life...the novel is a testament to the tenacious bonds of the family, the restorative power of love and capacity to endure and prevail." --The Chicago Tribune

Employee Review

This Oprah pick is an intricate tale of life in upstate New York. Oates creates characters that you love, and ones that you will come to pity immensely. Life is grand for the Mulvaney family until a tragedy befalls one of its members. From here on, things takes a drastic turn and the demise of the family begins. The descriptions of the landscape and area make you feel like you've been there before, and the characters seem like people you know. A great read.

Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18

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