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We Were the Mulvaneys | [Joyce Carol Oates]

We Were the Mulvaneys

The Mulvaneys are blessed by all that makes life sweet: a hardworking father, a loving mother, three fine sons, and a bright, pretty daughter. But an incident occurs on Valentine's Day, 1976 - hushed up in the rural town of Mt. Ephraim, New York and never spoken of in the Mulvaney home - that rends the fabric of their family life.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

Check out more selections from Oprah's Book Club.

©1996 The Ontario Review, Inc., (P) ©2001 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"[It gets] under our skin and demand that we pay attention." (New York Newsday)
"[she has a gift] of making the page a window, with something on the other side that we'd swear was life itself." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (130 )
5 star
 (32)
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3.7 (26 )
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Story
3.7 (25 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Moire Linden, VA, United States 09-12-03
    Moire Linden, VA, United States 09-12-03 Member Since 2002

    Life long fan of the mystery story. I like books where something actually happens, so history and biography are favorites of mine also. I also think that even good books are improved tremendously when an actor performs the narration.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    124
    ratings
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    192
    49
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    2
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    Overall
    "Doesn't ring true"

    Perhaps because its abridged, the characters don't ring true and the tradgedy becomes trivial -- something that these folks should just get over with and move on.

    Also the narrator, while pleasent to listen to, doesn't always emphasize sentences correctly and mispronounces some words.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LB in Dallas Dallas, Tx United States 05-11-03
    LB in Dallas Dallas, Tx United States 05-11-03 Member Since 2002

    marlin515

    HELPFUL VOTES
    237
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    REVIEWS
    402
    71
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    FOLLOWING
    8
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    Overall
    "Not the best I've heard"

    This book challenged my logical mind. How could an entire family's implosion for decades to follow be blamed on a date rape? The whole family banishing the victim was too much to believe.

    8 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick Chicago, IL, United States 09-23-13
    Nick Chicago, IL, United States 09-23-13 Member Since 2012

    Will read (or in this case, listen) to just about anything.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    16
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    Performance
    Story
    "Possibly my least favorite download."

    The story was interesting, but just not good - it was like listening to a mediocre made-for-TV movie. Also, the narration was frustrating - men doing the voice of multiple female characters is hard (as is the reverse), but something about J. Todd Adams as Marianne and her mother Corinne was really difficult to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Grand Prairie, TX, United States 03-29-11
    Melissa Grand Prairie, TX, United States 03-29-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    50
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    Overall
    "Not good"

    I couldn't at all relate to any of the characters or understand their emotional and physical abandonment of Mary Ann. It seemed outrageous that a tight-knit, happy family and individuals could completely fall apart instead of coming together over a horrendous act that was done to one of them. I'm more than sure it's because this version is abridged.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MaDonna Victoria, TX, United States 03-07-11
    MaDonna Victoria, TX, United States 03-07-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    17
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    Overall
    "WE WERE THE MULVANEYS"

    Very slow paced and not interesting at all, thought it would get better, but didn't.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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