We Were The Mulvaneys Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of We Were The Mulvaneys

The Mulvaneys have what appear to be a perfect life--four happy and out-going children, all successful in their own ways, growing up together on their idyllic New England farm. Then something happens to their daughter that changes not only her life, but shows how fragile their entire family relationship really is.
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The review of this Book prepared by Carole Waterhouse

"We Were the Mulvaneys" , is the story of the destruction and regeneration of a family caused by the rape of the teenage, cheerleader daughter. Unwilling to testify against the rapist because she was drinking at the time, the daughter , Marianne, refuses to prosecute. Her father,Michael, a head of a small roofing business, takes the law into his own hands and attacks the father of the rapist. He is fined and given probation. From there, the family's life goes downhill, from a happy existence on a farm, filled with animals and freedom, to a constricted life in the suburbs with only the youngest of three sons mother, Corinne, present. Oates fills the story with colorful characters and a wealth of details, making the restoration of the family fascinating reading.
The review of this Book prepared by Betty-Jeanne Korson

Chapter Analysis of We Were The Mulvaneys

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   upbeat Time/era of story    -   1960's-1970's Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Family, loving relations    -   Yes Kind of sex:    -   rape Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Taboo sex story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)    -   Irish Unusual characteristics:    -   Extremely cynical or arrogant


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   10 () Farm/Ranch?    -   Yes Farm/Ranch:    -   farm    -   lot of descript of animal care Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   Boob talk!    -   rape/molest Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog    -   little dialog

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Joyce Carol Oates Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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