Sometimes fiction is closer to real life than I like to think. The most poignant part of the story was the heartache experienced and the endurance exhibited by the mother as she watched her family unravel through no fault of their own.

We Were the Mulvaneys

The entire family makes up what would be considered the main character, so it’s not easy to say who was most important. The only daughter of the family, Marianne, ends up in a situation which pulls the entire family apart.

(Spoiler alert) The Mulvaney family is a prominent family in Small Town, USA during the Baby Boom Era. Marianne is the only daughter of the four Mulvaney children. She attends her high school prom and is raped following an after dance party. This event literally ruins her father who is incapable of helping Marianne. Instead he takes the rape personally and allows it to destroy his life and his family as well.

Marianne recovers from the event and moves on with her life, though not in an entirely healthy way. The father dies a drunken fool and the mother of these children is left to put the pieces of her family back together again.

“Be realistic, that’s just life.” – Mother Mulvaney

The most poignant part of the story was the heartache experienced, and the endurance exhibited, by the mother.

She had an ideal life, an ideal husband, ideal children, and a steady routine to her days. She was a successful woman-at-home, a perfectly content housewife and mother, and she reveled in this role. And then, without any warning, a light switch is flipped. Everything that is known to this mother as a foundational truth of her life begins to slip from under her feet. She scrambles to hold onto her bearings and her children. The four children scatter from her due to the chasm in the family. Eventually they return to her and the family begins to heal, but the cost was high, the collateral damage was done. 

I think it was difficult to read, considering the situation my family has been going through this year in dealing with my ex-husband, his sister-in-law and the alienation, the destruction, the division, the collateral damage done by them both towards myself, my second husband, and the children we have raised together. It is very hard to watch an entire family just completely unravel, especially your own. And even more troubling is when the damage done is all completely unnecessary.

It is a tear jerker. It is a frustrating read because of the injustices the family must suffer through no fault of their own. But, I’d love to hear about your feelings, musings, like, or dislike of We Were the Mulvaneys. You can pick up a copy today & come back and leave a comment when you’re done.

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