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A riveting novel that explores the high price of success in the life of one woman—the first female president of a lauded ivy league institution—and her hold upon her self-identity in the face of personal and professional demons, from Joyce Carol Oates, author of the New York Times bestseller A Widow’s Story
Mudgirl is a child abandoned by her mother in the silty flats of the Black Snake River. Cast aside, Mudgirl survives by an accident of fate—or destiny. After her rescue, the well-meaning couple who adopt Mudgirl quarantine her poisonous history behind the barrier of their middle-class values, seemingly sealing it off forever. But the bulwark of the present proves surprisingly vulnerable to the agents of the past.
Meredith “M.R.” Neukirchen is the first woman president of an Ivy League university. Her commitment to her career and moral fervor for her role are all-consuming. Involved with a secret lover whose feelings for her are teasingly undefined, and concerned with the intensifying crisis of the American political climate as the United States edges toward war with Iraq, M.R. is confronted with challenges to her leadership that test her in ways she could not have anticipated. The fierce idealism and intelligence that delivered her from a more conventional life in her upstate New York hometown now threaten to undo her.
A reckless trip upstate thrusts M.R. Neukirchen into an unexpected psychic collision with Mudgirl and the life M.R. believes she has left behind. A powerful exploration of the enduring claims of the past, Mudwoman is at once a psychic ghost story and an intimate portrait of a woman cracking the glass ceiling at enormous personal cost, which explores the tension between childhood and adulthood, the real and the imagined, and the “public” and “private” in the life of a highly complex contemporary woman.
There is too much emphasis on the main protagonist and little mystery.
To a point, I appreciate her way of presenting the dark interior life of someone as a jumble of memories and perceptions that are not clearly "real" or "not real".
Even though I found the book hard to get through, I did finish it, only to be somewhat disappointed with the ending.
Mudwoman is a challenge. At times, I even hated it—and yet I give it five stars, because…. Well, because it’s so deliberate; because it’s what its author intends it to be; because,... Read morePublished 11 days ago by N. Andreassen
Takes you by surprise and rewards concentration. Fabulous story.Published 18 days ago by Ellen Perduyn
I am listening to the book on CD, but was missing the 13th CD...so I bought the book. I will read the book where the CD is missing and then back to the CD's. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Curious L
For how many years have I been (not) reading her novels? Too many. She is nuts. Her mind goes places where minds should not go, especially mine. Read morePublished 2 months ago by WeHo book lover
This - one of Joyce Carol Oates' best - carries punch after punch after punch! It calls us all to look at where we have come from and how that effects our life forever. Read morePublished 3 months ago by kathleen sandow
I've tried to read it several times but seem to get 'stuck in the mud' each time. I may try again but not right away.Published 6 months ago by MerryMary
I enjoyed this book it was suspenseful and kept me interested throughout. A book I would even want to reread.Published 6 months ago by becca