Wild game My mother, her lover, and me

Adrienne Brodeur

Book - 2019

"A daughter's tale of living in the thrall of her magnetic, complicated mother, and the chilling consequences of her complicity. On a hot July night on Cape Cod when Adrienne was 14, her mother, Malabar, woke her at midnight with five simple words that would set the course of both of their lives for years to come: Ben Souther just kissed me. Adrienne instantly became her mother's confidante and helpmate, blossoming in the sudden light of her attention, and from then on, Malabar ca...me to rely on her daughter to help orchestrate what would become an epic affair with her husband's closest friend. The affair would have calamitous consequences for everyone involved, impacting Adrienne's life in profound ways, driving her into a precarious marriage of her own, and then into a deep depression. Only years later will she find the strength to embrace her life - and her mother - on her own terms. Wild Game is a brilliant, timeless memoir about how the people close to us can break our hearts simply because they have access to them, and the lies we tell in order to justify the choices we make. It's a remarkable story of resilience, a reminder that we need not be the parents our parents were to us."--

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BIOGRAPHY/Brodeur, Adrienne
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Subjects
Genres
Autobiographies
Published
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2019.
Language
English
Physical Description
xii, 237 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9781328519030
1328519031
Main Author
Adrienne Brodeur (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Brodeur's engrossing memoir examines a family defined by one woman's all-consuming magnetism. In 1980, when the author was fourteen, her mother, Malabar, woke her in the middle of the night to tell her that Ben, Brodeur's stepfather's best friend, had kissed her. Brodeur became Malabar's closest confidante, erasing the boundary between parent and child, as that kiss grew into a long-term affair. Brodeur describes the thrill she felt at being her mother's best friend and the guilt of hiding such a major secret from her stepfather and brother. She helped Malabar and Ben shore up alibis and arrange meetings on Cape Cod and in New York City. Wild Game follows Brodeur through adulthood, examining the ripple effects that her relationship with her mother had on Brodeur's own romances. Brodeur changes the names of those involved except for her parents, acknowledging that the story is not hers alone. However, Brodeur includes clearly identifying details about her well-known stepfather, which some readers may find distracting. An absorbing story of secrets, love, and family. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Executive director of the Aspen Institute's Aspen Words and cofounder with Francis Ford Coppola of the magazine Zoetrope: All Story, Brodeur has her own story to unfold. Told at age 14 by her mother, "Ben Souther just kissed me," Brodeur became an enthusiastic, then burdened confidante as her mother launched an affair with her husband's best friend. A 100,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

When Brodeur (cofounder, Zoetrope: All-Story magazine) was 14, her mother woke her up in the middle of the night in their family's house on Cape Cod to tell her a secret that would derail the course of their lives: her husband's best friend had just kissed her. This kiss jump-started an affair between the author's mother, Malabar, and her stepfather's best friend, Ben, that went on to span decades, with Brodeur as her mother's sole confidante for most of that time. After her mother's admission, the author found herself thrust into the role of accomplice to the couple's infidelity. Keeping a secret of such magnitude had a colossal effect on Brodeur's relationships with her stepfather, her brother, and eventually her own husband. Malabar, an accomplished food writer, and Ben, an avid hunter bringing wild game with him each time he visits the Cape, make this memoir potentially appealing to foodies. VERDICT Brodeur's story explores the bond between mother and daughter and the ripple effect a family secret can have when passed among generations. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 4/1/19.]—Erin Shea, Ferguson Lib., CT Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

This page-turning memoir about an especially fraught mother-daughter relationship from novelist Brodeur (Man Camp) reads like heady beach fiction. At age 14, Brodeur became enmeshed in her mother Malabar's affair with Ben—a married lifelong friend of Brodeur's stepfather Charles—covering for them even after Charles's death. At 21, Brodeur cheated on a boyfriend with Ben's son Jack: "like our parents before us, we spoke in a language rich in innuendo." She later became engaged to Jack, who knew nothing of their parents' affair, and kept quiet about it until Ben confessed to his family and ended the relationship with Malabar. Brodeur and Jack's wedding became "Malabar's battleground. She would be radiant... and show Ben what he was missing"; to that end, Malabar brought out a family heirloom promised to Brodeur on her wedding day—a necklace of allegedly priceless gems—and wore it herself. Wealth and social prominence abound against a summertime Cape Cod backdrop: Malabar was a Boston Globe food columnist, Charles founded the Plimoth Plantation living history museum, and Ben was a proud Mayflower descendant. Nine months after Ben's wife's died, Ben and Malabar married, and Malabar quickly cut off Brodeur, whose own marriage was crumbling: "Now that Malabar finally had Ben... she no longer needed me." This layered narrative of deceit, denial, and disillusionment is a surefire bestseller. (Oct.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Describes the author’s teenage experience of condoning and helping to facilitate her mother’s epic affair with her husband’s best friend, serving as confident and helpmate, and the catastrophic and reverberating consequences that affected everyone involved. 100,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"A daughter's tale of living in the thrall of her magnetic, complicated mother, and the chilling consequences of her complicity"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A NATIONAL BESTSELLER. A daughter’s tale of living in the thrall of her magnetic, complicated mother, and the chilling consequences of her complicity.NAMED A BEST FALL BOOK BY People * Refinery29 * Entertainment Weekly * BuzzFeed * NPR’s On Point * Town & Country * Real Simple * New York Post * Palm Beach Post * Toronto Star * Orange Country Register * Bustle * Bookish * BookPage * Kirkus* BBC Culture* DebutifulOn a hot July night on Cape Cod when Adrienne was fourteen, her mother, Malabar, woke her at midnight with five simple words that would set the course of both of their lives for years to come: Ben Souther just kissed me. Adrienne instantly became her mother’s confidante and helpmate, blossoming in the sudden light of her attention, and from then on, Malabar came to rely on her daughter to help orchestrate what would become an epic affair with her husband’s closest friend. The affair would have calamitous consequences for everyone involved, impacting Adrienne’s life in profound ways, driving her into a precarious marriage of her own, and then into a deep depression. Only years later will she find the strength to embrace her life—and her mother—on her own terms. Wild Game is a brilliant, timeless memoir about how the people close to us can break our hearts simply because they have access to them, and the lies we tell in order to justify the choices we make. It’s a remarkable story of resilience, a reminder that we need not be the parents our parents were to us.“Exquisite and harrowing.” —New York Times Book Review “This electrifying, gorgeously written memoir will hold you captive until the last word.” —People

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A daughter's tale of living in the thrall of her magnetic, complicated mother, and the chilling consequences of her complicity.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

A NATIONAL BESTSELLER “Exquisite and harrowing.” —New York Times Book Review“This electrifying, gorgeously written memoir will hold you captive until the last word.” —People NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2019 BY NPR * BuzzFeed * Slate * Chicago Public Library * Real Simple * Library Journal * Washington Post * Amazon * CBCA daughter’s tale of living in the thrall of her magnetic, complicated mother, and the chilling consequences of her complicity. On a hot July night on Cape Cod when Adrienne was fourteen, her mother, Malabar, woke her at midnight with five simple words that would set the course of both of their lives for years to come: Ben Souther just kissed me.    Adrienne instantly became her mother’s confidante and helpmate, blossoming in the sudden light of her attention, and from then on, Malabar came to rely on her daughter to help orchestrate what would become an epic affair with her husband’s closest friend. The affair would have calamitous consequences for everyone involved, impacting Adrienne’s life in profound ways, driving her into a precarious marriage of her own, and then into a deep depression. Only years later will she find the strength to embrace her life—and her mother—on her own terms.  Wild Game is a brilliant, timeless memoir about how the people close to us can break our hearts simply because they have access to them, and the lies we tell in order to justify the choices we make. It’s a remarkable story of resilience, a reminder that we need not be the parents our parents were to us.

Review by Publisher Summary 6

A NATIONAL BESTSELLER 'Exquisite and harrowing.' 'New York Times Book Review'this electrifying, gorgeously written memoir will hold you captive until the last word.' 'People NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2019 BY NPR * BuzzFeed * Slate * Chicago Public Library * Real Simple * Library Journal * Washington Post * Amazon * CBCA daughter's tale of living in the thrall of her magnetic, complicated mother, and the chilling consequences of her complicity. On a hot July night on Cape Cod when Adrienne was fourteen, her mother, Malabar, woke her at midnight with five simple words that would set the course of both of their lives for years to come: Ben Souther just kissed me.    Adrienne instantly became her mother's confidante and helpmate, blossoming in the sudden light of her attention, and from then on, Malabar came to rely on her daughter to help orchestrate what would become an epic affair with her husband's closest friend. The affair would have calamitous consequences for everyone involved, impacting Adrienne's life in profound ways, driving her into a precarious marriage of her own, and then into a deep depression. Only years later will she find the strength to embrace her life'and her mother'on her own terms.  Wild Game is a brilliant, timeless memoir about how the people close to us can break our hearts simply because they have access to them, and the lies we tell in order to justify the choices we make. It's a remarkable story of resilience, a reminder that we need not be the parents our parents were to us.

Review by Publisher Summary 7

A daughter’s tale of living in the thrall of her magnetic, complicated mother, and the chilling consequences of her complicity.