Wild Game

Wild Game : My Mother, Her Lover and Me

4.03 (3,694 ratings by Goodreads)
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A daughter's tale of living in the thrall of her magnetic, complicated mother, and the chilling consequences of her complicity

Every time I fail to become more like my mother, I become more like me.

On a hot August 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; 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 doomed 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.

This is a book about how the people close to us can break our hearts simply because they have access to them. It's about the lies we tell in order to justify the choices we make. It's about mothers and daughters and the nature of family. And ultimately, it's a story of resilience, a reminder that we need not be the parents our parents were to us; that moving forward is possible.

'Not since The Glass Castle has a memoir conveyed such a complex family bond, in which love, devotion, and corrosive secrets are inextricably linked' J. Courtney Sullivan
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 144 x 222 x 26mm | 377g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1784742570
  • 9781784742577
  • 1,187,296

Review Text

"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"
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Review quote

It's the kind of juicy what-is-happening memoir that just begs to be made into a movie * Buzzfeed * Wild Game is a memoir, but it reads very much like a novel . . . bringing readers closely into scenes with vivid sensual detail . . . Wild Game, for all its luscious prose and tantalizing elements, is ultimately about the slow and painful process of losing a mother * NPR * 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 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 Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love 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 Shimmers with hard-earned emotional truths * netaporter.com * This electrifying, gorgeously written memoir will hold you captive until the last word * People * Perhaps everyone has a memoir in them-but only some lives are instant and undeniable blockbusters . . . The miracle of Wild Game is that Brodeur's writing is as incredible as her story . . . Wild Game will undeniably be the book club pick of 2019 * Refinery29 * 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 * Brodeur's memoir has set both Hollywood and publishing ablaze * Entertainment Weekly * Brodeur writes beautifully * BBC * It's all my American friends will talk about -- Hannah Betts * Daily Telegraph * A fascinating, beautifully written account of a startling and tumultuous life -- Charlotte Heathcote * Daily Express * 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 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 * Exquisite and harrowing . . . 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 * A sumptuous memoir of Brodeur's glamorous, cocktail-sodden, spectacularly self-involved mother -- Emma Beddington * Sunday Times * Impossible-to-look-away-from... builds with anticipation and continues to unfold with observations and revelations * Amazon.com Best Books of 2019 * Eye-popping . . . As books about families, sex and complicity go, this one's right up there -- Rachel Cooke * Observer * Fascinating . . . Wild Game is a memoir that reads like a novel . . . describes -- beautifully -- the anguish of a child trapped in a tangled web of love and betrayal that affects her emotional decisions into adulthood * The Times *
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About Adrienne Brodeur

In 1995 Adrienne Brodeur co-founded, along with filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, the National Magazine Award-winning fiction magazine Zoetrope: All-Story. She then worked as a book editor in New York for several years, and is currently the Executive Director of the Aspen Words, a literary non-profit and part of the Aspen Institute in Colorado. She divides her time between New York City and Cape Cod.
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Rating details

3,694 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 33% (1,232)
4 44% (1,620)
3 18% (658)
2 3% (115)
1 2% (69)
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