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Book Rating (116)

Narrator Rating (4)

We Were the Mulvaneys

Abridged Audiobook

Written By: Joyce Carol Oates

Narrated By: J. Todd Adams

Publisher: HighBridge Company

Date: February 2001

Duration: 6 hours 58 minutes


The Mulvaneys are blessed by all that makes life sweeta 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 homethat 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.


  • Sharon S

    Granted it was the abridged version - but it seemed like a lot was missing. It was also a bit depressing at times but not at all hard to follow. I found myself just wanting to get to the end.

  • georgia peach

    This is a fascinating story of how a "good" family becomes unravelled by a bad event, seemed like something was missing. maybe there is more in the unabridged edition that explains the feelings and motivations of the parents better. I knew the thoughts and feelings of the children in the family, but not the parents, so it seemed a bit forced, and a bit hollow. Having said that, though, it is worth a listen to get inside the lives of this family and witness how things can fall apart, but be put back together also.

  • Ohio

    A major disappointment, I keep thinking it’s going to get better soon. Everyone said it was a great book, 4 and 5 stars! The story line was really not that deep and mostly predicable.

  • Pamela Christensen

    It was an interesting and compelling story. I would have preferred the unabridge version though, since the characters were just great and I would have liked to known more about each one. It was a great story and I appreciated the drama of family and how things can slide downhill so quickly.

  • lilpumpkin

    I loved this book. I thought the narrator did an amazing job and the book could not have been better. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has ever felt like an outcast in their own family or who struggled to find themselves. This book could not have been better!

  • William Kurry

    Oates is a great writer but this story is much too long and I was bored to fustration with the excessive detail. I suggest a skip on this one.

  • Anonymous

    This was the abridged version. Was everything pleasant removed untill the last cd? I fast forwarded through most and will not be renting another by this author.

  • John Kibler

    Joyce Carol Oates is a great writer but I was so appalled at the behavior of these parents and their self-absorption and disregard for their daughter's feelings and well-being that I couldn't finish it.

  • Lori

    This heartbreaking story was a little slow getting started but the narrator was OUTSTANDING! It delves deeply into a troubled family whose downfall is not knowing how to handle difficult situations and the pain this causes. An interesting book on the family dynamics. Once again the narrator was TERRIFIC!!

  • Anonymous

    Wasn't thrilled with this book. Didn't finish the CD's. Too much repetitive details over and over again. Took a long time to get to the point of each chapter. Didn't keep me engaged

We Were the Mulvaneys

by Joyce Carol Oates

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We Were the Mulvaneys, Joyce Carol Oates