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Publisher's Summary

A haunting new novel from Joyce Carol Oates.
Mudgirl is a child abandoned by her mother in the salty flats of the Black Snake River. Cast aside, Mudgirl survives by an accident of fate - or destiny. Only when she is adopted by a Quaker family does she begin to suppress those painful memories.
Meredith 'M. R.' Neukirchen is the first woman president of a prestigious Ivy League university, whose commitment to her career and moral fervor are all-consuming. But with an emergent political crisis and a prolonged secret love affair, M. R. has to confront challenges to her professional leadership which test her in ways she could not have expected. The fierce idealism and intelligence that delivered her from a more conventional life in her hometown now threaten to undo her. When she makes a trip upstate, M. R. Neukirchen is thrust 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 the heartbreaking portrait of an individual who breaks - but finds a way to heal herself.
©2012 Joyce Carol Oates (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
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Critic Reviews

"Shot through with menace and subtlety...Mudwoman is a genuinely unsettling book in which Oates pays her reader the compliment of never letting them settle or even being entirely sure about what they have just read. For a young novelist, this kind of risk-taking would be admirable; for a 73-year-old with more than 50 novels to her name, it is extraordinary." (Financial Times)
"A chilling, beautifully written ghost story about the power of the past." (The Times)
"Oates is a dangerous writer in the best sense of the word, one who takes risks almost obsessively with energy and relish.... As if her aim were not to satisfy or entertain - though she always does both - but to do the vandalistic prose equivalent of spray-painting or setting fire to bins in public parks." (The New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Sharni on 12-21-13

Very hard to follow

What disappointed you about Mudwoman?

The story was very disjointed and hard to follow. The ending was an anticlimax and I wondered why I persevered with listening to it

Did Susan Ericksen do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

I love Susan Ericksen's work, and I think that she did a great job with difficult content

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The narrator

Any additional comments?

Not worth the money

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jan on 10-11-13

thoroughly captivating

If you could sum up Mudwoman in three words, what would they be?

intriguing, captivating, emotional

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sorry, but couldn't say...all the characters develop before your eyes (ears), and consequently I often changed my feelings about them.

Which character – as performed by Susan Ericksen – was your favourite?

The crow was quite eerie but I found all characters portrayed brilliantly

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Tears, laughter, disbelief, sadness, anticipation, relief.

Any additional comments?

I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook...not quite the norm.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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