HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates
Loading...

We Were the Mulvaneys (1996)

by Joyce Carol Oates

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,72977994 (3.58)151
  1. 10
    A Good House by Bonnie Burnard (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Both books are set in small towns and cover the story of one family over many years. Oates's book is darker and more satirical; the characters in Burnard's book are more likeable and believable.
  2. 00
    My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These literary coming-of-age novels each hauntingly explore the repercussions of a rape on small communities. A large family falls apart in We Were the Mulvaneys, while My Sunshine Away portrays the residents of a single street.
  3. 00
    Atonement by Ian McEwan (ainsleytewce)
  4. 11
    A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton (krizia_lazaro)
  5. 00
    Middle Age: A Romance by Joyce Carol Oates (Booksloth)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 151 mentions

English (74)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  English (77)
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
A wonderful novel that takes you through the highs and very lows of a family, the Mulvaneys. The story is told occasionally by Judd, the youngest Mulvaney, but most often in the third person. The reader spends time with different family members, Patrick, the second eldest during his time at Cornell, Marianne, the only daughter and towards the end we are next to Michael Mulvaney Sr, seeing where his life has taken him. In these sections we hear about the other family members second-hand. The story hinges around a significant event that happened to Marianne on Valentine's Day 1976. Up until that date this family seemed to be blessed and have everything and yet we later receive glimpses that all had never been so cosy in the Mulvaney household, as Corrine (mum) reveals. The capacity for love that Corrine has is incredible and Joyce Carol Oates shows this love eventually reaping rewards. Joyce Carol Oates tells a fantastic story that I did not want to put down. She weaves in current events and important details and had me smiling and choked with tears at different times. The novel also has a well drawn geography and as she describes the road to the farm I felt I was there, I could picture the farm buildings and see the views. ( )
  Tifi | Nov 9, 2016 |
Tried to read this twice. Just couldn't get anywhere.
  shesinplainview | Sep 5, 2016 |
We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates; (2 1/2*)

I thought I would love this novel, as Oates is a favorite of mine. But it turned out to be not so much. The characters were well rounded out as all of Oates' characters are. And in this case they all react differently to a critical event within the family history. But the book didn't really work for me.
Like I said, this was an okay read for me but I have found that I far prefer Oates' short stories to her novels. She is masterful with the short. ( )
  rainpebble | Sep 4, 2016 |
I became quickly absorbed in this tale. An example of how one incident destroys the American dream. I thought these characters were very credible and the devastating impact on their lives and their emotional response to an event was all too recognisable. Many reviewers have labelled this story as depressing but I think the author gives a realistic portrayal and manages to show the resilience of the human spirit. ( )
  HelenBaker | Sep 2, 2016 |
I loved this family tale. I found it a very realistic portrayal of how one tragic event can destroy family life and relationships but eventually time can heal. ( )
  HelenBaker | Aug 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
In her gracefully sprawling new novel, Joyce Carol Oates delivers a modern family tragedy with a theme as painfully primal as “Oedipus Rex.”
added by prosperosbook | editSalon, David Futrelle (Sep 27, 1996)
 
What keeps us coming back to Oates Country is something stronger and spookier: her uncanny gift of making the page a window, with something happening on the other side that we'd swear was life itself.
 
Thanks for writing such a good article, I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing
 
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.

You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.

Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged.
Missing me one place search another,
I stop some where waiting for you.

from Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
Dedication
for my "Mulvaneys" . . .
First words
We were the Mulvaneys, remember us?
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0452277205, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:03 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A family of six disintegrates after a daughter is raped by a high-school student in upstate New York. The disgrace -- there is some question if it was rape -- sends the father to drink and financial ruin, the girl leaves home, the others follow. By the author of What I Lived For.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1060 avail.
65 wanted
6 pay6 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.58)
0.5 4
1 32
1.5 9
2 87
2.5 22
3 294
3.5 58
4 362
4.5 32
5 189

Audible.com

2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 110,696,659 books! | Top bar: Always visible