The staggeringly prolific Oates' latest novel is a tragic, compelling tale. She presents in sensuous prose the saga of the fall of the House of Mulvaney. The Mulvaneys, six of them, had been riding high; they lived on a prosperous farm in upstate New York and lived well. Now an adult, Judd, the youngest Mulvaney, recounts the events during which "everything came apart for us and was never again put together in quite the same way." At the core of the family troubles was one grievous incident, the rape of Judd's sister. Consequently, Judd, his father, and one of his brothers commit criminal deeds, and the family eventually loses the farm. Predictably for Oates, her impeccable psychological understanding of violence--its roots and ramifications--lies at the heart of a troubling yet ultimately inspiring story of how far down people can go but, holding on together as a family, rise to the surface again. Her legion of fans will be pleased
Excellent book. It was a great family saga.
I picked up a copy of this book at a library sale before I knew it was an Oprah book. I tend to avoid the Oprah books because I find them preachy (though I admittedly read and enjoyed several of them before they were Oprah books.) Though this wasn't preachy, it seemed to me a less interesting and far less funny version of David James Duncan's brilliant study of family (in pretty much the same time period) 'The Brothers K.' It wasn't a bad book, it just wasn't really that good. It was often disengaging, which made it tedious. There are far better works to spend 450 pages reading.
Wonderful read! A great family saga.
I was in the middle of this book when I realized I was not enjoying it. I found it hard to follow and plodded through hoping it would pick up. It did not. I couldn't wrap my imagination around the characters and felt nothing for them. It was as if the story wasn't thought out and the author just threw things together. A mess.
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The initial draw for me was seeing it on Oprah's list. I think this was the first book I had read on that basis... Anyway, the story was very real. I felt for the Mulvaneys, hated to see the heartache that each family member went through in this book.
super depressing most of the time . . .
The story of an American tragedy and how it tore a family apart. It's a story of family, love, loss, heartbreak and what hope for what can put it all back together again. It's listed on the 1001 books to read before you die and rightfully so. One of Joyce Carol Oates' best.
A timeless story that won't let you put it down. I read this book in a day to an ice storm!