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We were the Mulvaneys
Joyce Carol Oates
Adult Fiction OATES

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In a tale told primarily from the point of view of the youngest boy, Judd, listeners learn how each of the Mulvaneys struggles with 16-year-old Marianne's date rape and her father's fierce reaction to it Mike Mulvaney bans his daughter from the house, ostensibly because she will not name her rapist. In her 26th novel, Oates once again shows her prowess as mistress of the macabre. The best scenes are not early on when we're introduced to the lovely, successful Mulvaneys, their smart and charming children, and their middle-class American milieu. They are not in the rebuilding of individual lives in the wake of the father's disintegration and death. Nor are they toward the end, when the Mulvaneys reunite as an almost-functional, though much-changed family. It is the flashbacks of Marianne's date rape and especially brother Patrick's plotting and executing his vigilante justice that carry listeners from sentence to sentence throughout Adams's utterly convincing reading. Based on the Penguin hardcover. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Wonderful as they are, Oates's lengthy novels do not always translate well into audio, and this is one of the less successful attempts. Even in this version, read by J. Todd Adams, the action starts off slowly, too slowly for many listeners (who aren't as likely to dwell on the poetic language as readers are). We have been listening for nearly two hours before we're told that Marianne was raped, when we suspected it within the first half-hour. After this point the pace picks up a bit, actually keeping us on the edge of our seats for awhile, but it slows again near the end. And even at its narrative best, this program is likely to make one somewhat skeptical. The book's premise, a raped high school girl shunned by students, faculty, and her father, banished to live with a distant relative, seems more evocative of the 1950s than the 1970s. And the father's descent into madness, though reminiscent of many Oates (Blonde) characters, seems incredulous. Still, the print edition of this 1996 novel was an Oprah selection, so anticipate high demand for the audiobook. Rochelle Ratner, formerly with "Soho Weekly News," New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Mike Mulvaney
Successful; hard-working.
Roofing company owner

Corinne Mulvaney
Loving; nuturing; runs an antiques business.
Antiques dealer

Mike Jr. "Mule" Mulvaney
Football hero; high school star athlete.

Patrick "Pinch" Mulvaney
Intelligent; gifted.

Marianne Mulvaney
Sweet; popular; cheerleader.

Judd Mulvaney
Troubled; the youngest of the family.

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