M.R. Neukirchen is the first woman president of an Ivy League college, but behind her successful career hides the traumatic childhood of a girl abandoned and left for dead in the mud.
I love Joyce Carol Oates, and Mudwoman was as beautifully written as usual, but this time the plot completely lost me.
In the past, I've enjoyed quite a few novels that go back and forth between the main character's past and present. However, what that format implies is that some revelation about the past will shed light on the present. But Mudwoman was frustratingly messy, and no such revelation ever appeared. The plot seemed to be more and more confusing as it progressed, and ultimately led nowhere.
Do not pick this title if you're looking for your first Oates novel.