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We Were the Mulvaneys
We Were the Mulvaneys
Author: Joyce Carol Oates
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...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780452282827
ISBN-10: 0452282829
Publication Date: 9/1996
Pages: 454
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 708 ratings
Publisher: Plume Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed We Were the Mulvaneys on
Helpful Score: 11
Prior to "The Mulvaney's" I had not been able to become an avid reader of Joyce Carol Oates. I often had difficulty with the subject matter and frequently found myself responding in a negative , unrewarding way and that is not why I read novels. Ms. Oates is a consummate artist, a writer of very great skill, and a wonderful story-teller. "The Mulvaneys" is moving, warm, real, troubling and a pleasure to read. You can not read this book or any of her work if all you want to know is "what happens next". Her prose is flawless and chock full of those things which make great prose. It is not realistic to expect every reader to like her work, she IS a challenge, but well worth the effort(if that's what it takes.) This would be a great first Oates to read, if you need an introduction. I am baffled, though, that Oprah took so many years to find this book. It was published 5 years ago. That is when I read it, and have been reading others by Ms Oates since. I do not like everything she writes, but you very well might. A whole lot of people do!
reviewed We Were the Mulvaneys on + 113 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
The writing was too embellished for me and hard to follow at times. Good story, but I felt like I had to plow through to finish.
scrapbooklady avatar reviewed We Were the Mulvaneys on + 472 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
"We were the Mulvaneys" was a decent book about a prominent family with everything in the world to look forward to and how they fell from grace. It was well written but a bit too drawn out at times. Definitely a very sad story from beginning to end.
reviewed We Were the Mulvaneys on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I love Joyce Carol Oates and this book is a great example of her work. I read it prior to it making it onto Oprah's Book Club list, but recently read it again after receiving another copy. It isn't necessarily for someone who doesn't like long, descriptive narratives of books, but I enjoy her writing style. We Were The Mulvaneys is an example of how everyone should be careful not to envy others for appearing to have perfect lives, because chances are high that they don't.
reviewed We Were the Mulvaneys on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
The main storyline is based around the fall from grace of a prominent family. While there are plenty of problems in the family that come to light, the driving force is the reaction of the family to the rape of the cheerleader daughter. I found myself annoyed that the family seemed to react to her tragedy in a way that seemed to center around themselves. How it made them feel or how it upset them, at times to the detriment of the true victim herself. It seemed like a lot of whining from well to dos and I found myself rather annoyed through most of the book, but forcing myself to finish it in hopes that it might improve.
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reviewed We Were the Mulvaneys on + 176 more book reviews
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
reviewed We Were the Mulvaneys on + 67 more book reviews
Excellent book. It was a great family saga.
maggiethecat avatar reviewed We Were the Mulvaneys on + 23 more book reviews
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.
reviewed We Were the Mulvaneys on + 5 more book reviews
Wonderful read! A great family saga.
mizzgizz5 avatar reviewed We Were the Mulvaneys on + 2 more book reviews
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.
spacie1024 avatar reviewed We Were the Mulvaneys on + 4 more book reviews
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.
reviewed We Were the Mulvaneys on
super depressing most of the time . . .
denneane avatar reviewed We Were the Mulvaneys on + 17 more book reviews
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.
reviewed We Were the Mulvaneys on + 42 more book reviews
A timeless story that won't let you put it down. I read this book in a day to an ice storm!


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