Monday 28 March 2011

Oates, Joyce Carol "We Were the Mulvaneys"

Oates, Joyce Carol "We Were the Mulvaneys" - 1996

"You will not read a novel more enthralling, more moving, more unforgettably illumined by profoundly human truth than this story of the rise, the fall, and the ultimate redemption of an American family."

True, the Mulvaneys are a happy family, a special kind of family, they are rich, beautiful, have a fantastic live, a wonderful home, own a huge farm and everybody envies them. Until that event on Valentine's Day after which the whole world changes. An interesting story about how one incident can destroy someone but how determination can bring them up again.

This was my first first novel from this author (but her 26th) and I liked it so much that I was looking forward to reading more of her. I don't ever read them quickly one after the other, though, I think it spoils the enjoyment.

Anyway, I really liked this novel. The characters are well described, the story is flowing well. You can imagine being there. Some parts might be a little too American but I can still imagine something like that happening over here, especially in the seventies when this story happened.

I have enjoyed all the other Joyce Carol Oates books and it's hard to pick a favourite but if I really had to, this would be the one.

See more comments on my ThrowbackThursday post in 2023.

From the back cover:

"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."

Find links to all my other Joyce Carol Oates reviews here.

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