We Were the Mulvaneys
Title: We Were the Mulvaneys
Author: Joyce Carol Oates
The Mulvaneys, at first a close and very lucky family, drift apart over the years, until the youngest son, Judd, discovers the secret of their downfall and sets out to help reunite the family.
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… with tragic consequences.
It is the youngest son, Judd, now an adult, who attempts to reclaim his family’s past by documenting their history and what seemed a special gift for happiness. The many secrets they kept from each other threatened to destroy them, but ultimately We Were the Mulvaneys celebrates the miracle that allowed a family to bridge the chasms that had opened up between them, and to reunite in the spirit of love and healing. Profoundly cathartic, this extraordinary novel unfolds as if Oates, in plumbing the darkness of the human spirit, has come upon a source of light at its core. Rarely has such an acclaimed writer made such a startling and inspiring statement about the value of hope and compassion.