- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1st Edition edition (October 15, 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1328519031
- ISBN-13: 978-1328519030
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews:
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me Hardcover – October 15, 2019
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From the Publisher
An Amazon Best Book of October 2019: When Adrienne Brodeur was fourteen years old, her mother entered her room to tell her “Ben Souther just kissed me.” Her mother wasn’t upset, despite the fact that Ben was not Adrienne’s stepfather. In fact, she was happy about it. This event sets off Brodeur’s memoir exploring her outwardly comfortable upbringing and the odd triangle that she, her mother, and Ben eventually created—the result is an engaging, at times breathless, read that builds in anticipation, even after that bang of a beginning. There is barely a wasted word in the book, and the tensions that develop between various members of the family, good or bad, recognized or not—as well the tensions we feel as readers—keep the narrative humming. It’s difficult to describe what makes one memoir more readable than another. But put this one at the top of your list.--Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review
A Best of Fall Title from: 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* Debutiful
A Book of the Month Pick (September)
An Amazon Best of the Month/Spotlight Pick (October)
The Nervous Breakdown Book Club (October)
An Apple Best of the Month (October)
A Bookish “Kelly’s Pick” (Fall)
“Exquisite and harrowing . . . [WILD GAME] is so gorgeously written and deeply insightful, and with a line of narrative tension that never slacks, from the first page to the last, that it’s one you’ll likely read in a single, delicious sitting.” —New York Times Book Review
"Wild Game is a memoir, but it reads very much like a novel with a first-person narrator, bringing readers closely into scenes with vivid sensual detail that paints the atmosphere with the adoring eyes of the enthralled daughter the author once was. Wild Game, for all its luscious prose and tantalizing elements, is ultimately about the slow and painful process of losing a mother." —NPR
"This electrifying, gorgeously written memoir will hold you captive until the last word." —People, “Book of the Week”
"Brodeur is a deft memoirist, portraying Malabar as a woman traumatized by a violent parent and early tragedy. In this stunning tale of treachery—unsettling yet seductive—we are led through some of the darkest and most alluring corridors of the human heart." —O Magazine
"[A] vivid memoir…[Brodeur] writes beautifully, even tenderly, as a mother herself, aware of repercussions, knowing how it all ended." —BBC
"Perhaps everyone has a memoir in them—but only some lives are instant and undeniable blockbusters. Adrienne Brodeur’s is one...Brodeur tells a story so extraordinary, so juicy, and so well that your only option is to buy copies for your friends, too...The miracle of Wild Game is that Brodeur’s writing is as incredible as her story. Brodeur captures the emotional gradations in a tense room as deftly as she establishes the sea salt air and elaborate dinners of her childhood...[Wild Game] will undeniably be the book club pick of 2019." —Refinery29
“Adrienne Brodeur’s breathless memoir starts off with a bang…Every single turn of this memoir is gripping…Brodeur’s descriptions of her mother read like a paramour waxing rhapsodic, the recollections of someone in inescapable thrall…In Wild Game, Brodeur shows us that what defines our lives is choosing just how bound we want to be."” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Brodeur’s memoir has set both Hollywood and publishing ablaze.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Shocking, poignant, unputdownable.” —People Magazine
“It’s the kind of juicy what-is-happening memoir that just begs to be made into a movie.”—Buzzfeed
“An Amazon Best Book of October 2019. An engaging, at times breathless, read that builds in anticipation, even after that bang of a beginning. There is barely a wasted word in the book, and the tensions that develop between various members of the family, good or bad, recognized or not—as well the tensions we feel as readers—keep the narrative humming. It’s difficult to describe what makes one memoir more readable than another. But put this one at the top of your list.” —Amazon Book Review
"As a 14-year-old, Adrienne Brodeur became the confidante for her mother and the possessor of one epic secret: her mother’s affair with her husband’s best friend. It set in motion years of consequences, grief and family struggles retold intimately by Brodeur and layered with detail, excitement and heartbreak throughout years of Cape Cod summers." —Parade
"Juicy and delicious....Wild Game is an honest reckoning of a dishonest time, a loving but critical portrait of a woman who prioritized her own happiness above all else, and an insightful retrospective of the author's complicity in an all-consuming lie....[Brodeur] is a gifted writer, with a particular talent for narrative flow. The story never lets up, and you won't want to put it down."—Bustle
“A fascinating tale about a troubled mother-daughter bond and the effect that decades of lies has on two families.” —NY Post
"Adrienne Brodeur's stunning memoir is the kind of true story that makes you wonder why we'd ever need fiction. It's a beautifully written, totally engrossing story unlike any we've read before—and will surely be one of the most talked-about books of the year." —Town and Country Magazine
“Here is a book you won’t want to put down for anything. Not since The Glass Castle has a memoir managed to convey such a complex family bond, in which love, devotion, and corrosive secrets are inextricably linked. Gorgeous, addictive, unflinching, Wild Game is a must-read.”— J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times best-selling author of Maine and Saints for All Occasions
“As the saying goes, you can’t make this stuff up. [A] remarkable web of relationships in a privileged, Cape Cod world and the lies a daughter was forced to tell. Riveting.” —Toronto Star
“It’s a rare memoir that reads like a thriller, but Adrienne Brodeur’s Wild Game manages to do just that. Beautifully written and harrowing, the book left me breathless.”— Richard Russo, author of The Destiny Thief and Empire Falls
“Vivid.” —New York Magazine
"I can’t stop thinking about this extraordinary memoir. In the spirit of The Liar’s Club and The Glass Castle, Brodeur takes on the complicated subjects of mother-daughter relationships and family secrets with masterful storytelling and cinematic style. Be forewarned that this book requires the buddy system; you’ll need to discuss it with someone the minute you finish!" —Allison K. Hill, Orange County Register
“Entirely unique and utterly enthralling, Wild Game examines the ardor of a daughter’s love, caught up in the relentless needs of her mother. In this courageous act of radical self-reflection and truth-telling, Brodeur untangles karmic threads that bind families together across the generations.”— Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being
“This page turning memoir…reads like heady beach fiction…This layered narrative of deceit, denial, and disillusionment is a surefire bestseller.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Wild Game tells an extraordinary family story, but this riveting memoir will touch all mothers and daughters. Adrienne Brodeur explores with compassionate clarity the intense bonds of love and need that create a family; and the destruction that can ensue. This is a beautiful book.”— Claire Messud, author of The Burning Girl
"Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me works effortlessly to earn my highest compliment for a memoir: It reads like a novel. The story immediately drew me in into [its] magnetic and complicated world." —Psychology Today
“A searing, indelible memoir of an extraordinary mother and her equally extraordinary daughter. Among Adrienne Brodeur’s many achievements in Wild Game—beautiful prose, a riveting story, elegantly told—what I found most moving is the love threaded through every page of this unforgettable book.”— Dani Shapiro, author of Hourglass and Inheritance
"Brodeur’s dramatic story makes for a perfect beach read; the fact that the soap opera is true makes it all the more compelling." —Columbia Magazine
“Adrienne Brodeur has had decades to consider her glamorous, aspiring, and deeply manipulative mother, along with her complex influence on her life. She appears to have used each day to explore and perfectly distill this legacy of sex, lies, and love into a memoir that is intimate, emotionally gripping, exquisitely shaped. Brodeur’s search for honesty is heroic and graceful; her hard-earned understanding animates this quietly shattering book about how lies passed by parents embed themselves into their children’s hearts.”— George Hodgman, New York Times best-selling author of Bettyville
“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.”—Library Journal, starred
"A candid, deftly crafted narrative...a vivid chronicle of a daughter's struggle to find herself."—Kirkus
"An absorbing story of secrets, love, and family."—Booklist
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On the surface this is the story of a mother who was so disconnected from other adult women, that she entangled her barely teenaged daughter into her very adult affair with a married man. More than making her daughter her confidant and co-conspirator, she stole her child's years of self-discovery. That her daughter allowed this only speaks to the child's lack of maturity. Even growing up didn't seem to add self-awareness or maturity.
I would have liked to have read a bit more about the possible therapy or self-work the narrator undertook. She claimed to have finally separated herself from her mother and her mother's personality dysfunctions. I am not so sure it was other than times distancing her from the past. Time will let us forget without repairing the damage.
I'm not sure I recommend this book. It was well written, but I feel it hides more than it reveals.
“Please wake up. Ben Souther just kissed me.” “What do you think should I do,” she softly asked her daughter, as if they were girlfriends. Luring her in to her plans.
Trying to register what her mother was saying, how could this be? Handsome Ben. Her stepfather’s childhood best friend. The best man at the wedding, the other half of the couple who always came over for dinner. He what?
Rennie, as she was known to family and friends, became not only a confidante that night, but an innocent co-conspirator, in her mother’s escapades from that day forward. She was just a kid. She was a pawn. Used. She felt important. Loved. Paid attention to. What this kind of attention did affected the trajectory of her life.
Lost was Rennie’s magical childhood on the beach, the closeness she once shared with her mother and brother, young love of her own, never fully realized.
I ached for Rennie. For the pain she took on at such a tender age. For what she became involved in when she should have been carefree.
This book. It is the result of a woman who came out on the other side and shared her story. Who became the opposite of what she saw as a child. She took the goodness, the intelligence, the joy of life, and, the perhaps, inherited gift of writing and fully absorbed it. This is WILD GAME.