Study Guide

We Were the Mulvaneys - Family Pictures: Storybook House Summary & Analysis

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We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates is a novel about the tenuous grasp on happiness that one American family has. The four hundred page novel is about a young girl who is raped by a high school acquaintance in a very small town and the fallout that affected the lives of everyone in her immediate family. It is a snapshot of the darker side of family life in the modern world.

The novel begins with Judd, the youngest child of the Mulvaney family, telling the reader about the little town where he grew up. The town is Mt. Ephraim in the Chautauqua Valley of upstate New York. High Point Farm is the farm where the Mulvaney family lived from 1955 until 1980, a home that will some day be designated a historical landmark.

Judd is an adult now, thirty-years-old, and the...

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This section contains 580 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the We Were the Mulvaneys Study Guide
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