My Life as a Rat
Joyce Carol Oates, Read by Sadie Alexandru

Book cover image

Narrated By: Sadie Alexandru

Duration: 13 hours and 3 minutes

What to expect

A brilliant and thought-provoking novel about family, loyalty and betrayal

Once I’d been Daddy’s favourite. Before something terrible happened.

Violet Rue is the baby of the seven Kerrigan children and adores her big brothers. What’s more, she knows that a family protects its own. To go outside the family – to betray the family – is unforgiveable. So when she overhears a conversation not meant for her ears and discovers that her brothers have committed a heinous crime, she is torn between her loyalty to her family and her sense of justice. The decision she takes will change her life for ever.

Exploring racism, misogyny, community, family, loyalty, sexuality and identity, this is a dark story with a tense and propulsive atmosphere – Joyce Carol Oates at her very best.


Modern & contemporary fiction

Listen to a sample

Simply the most consistently inventive, brilliant, curious and creative writer going’ Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl

'I stand in awe before such an unresting hunger for the literary endeavour' Rose Tremain

My Life as a Rat is Oates at her best – a powerful, uncompromising story that explores racism, misogyny and recent American history’ Kate Saunders, The Times

‘Sexism, rape, racism. Murder, sadism – fans will savour this stew of typical Oatsian nasties, in which 12-year old Violet is cruelly exiled from her family … the odyssey her psyche endures is served well by Oates’s juttery, rough-edged prose Mail on Sunday

‘Oates’s novel adroitly touches on race, loyalty, misogyny, and class inequality while also telling a moving story with a winning narrator. This book should please her fans and win her new onesPublishers Weekly

Oates’s prose contains a deep-felt rawness which hovers between hope, despair and love’ Guardian