Memoir Monday
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Searingly emeshed mother-daughter tale of love and betrayal, of a daughter living in the shadow of her complicated mother, of the consequences of complicity in WILD GAME

By Leslie Lindsay 

Riveting story told in glorious prose, WILD GAME is elegantly told about a seriously dysfunctional relationship between a mother and daughter–and the mother’s lover.



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Set mostly in Cape Cod in the early-mid 1980s, WILD GAME (HMH, October 15 2019) by Adrienne Brodeur might be *the* buzz-iest memoirs of the fall. And it’s deserved. Adrienne is fourteen when her mother, Malabar, wakes her daughter at midnight with the proclamation that a family friend–and also the best friend of Malabar’s husband (Adrienne’s stepfather, Charles) has kissed her. She’s beaming. She’s thrilled. The juicy details! Malabar wishes to confide in her daughter, to turn her into a secret accomplice in her torrid affair with this family friend, Ben Souther, who is also married.

assorted ropes hanging

Photo by Shvets Anna on

And Adrienne is eager to do this. She so desperately seeks her mother’s approval. Malabar can be a challenge, a bit of a diva. She loves to cook gourmet, succulent food, and does so with flourish. Baby pigeons for dinner? No problem. Clams and crabs, lobster, and duck, venison, yes, all that, too. And she loves her cocktails. Malabar is stunning in every way. Except she’s lonely. And probably very insecure.

“Shocking, poignant, unputdownable.”


Brodeur does a fabulous job of taking complex and lengthy backstory and weaving it into a narrative whole. We understand Malabar is a damaged individual, but sometimes, the damage just wasn’t ‘enough.’Don’t get me wrong, she had some struggles, but this might be a tale of wealth, of other kinds of brokenness.

The author is open, brave, transparent in her own struggles and her own role in this strange, tumultuous relationship (and her own, distinct path), but overall the ‘blame’ truly belongs to the mother. There’s drama and intrigue, and at one point, I simply could not put WILD GAME down.

boat boating close up coast

Photo by Pixabay on

WILD GAME is about secrets and lies (some covert and others overt), that we tell ourselves (and others) to justify the choices we make. It’s about self-preservation. And also, we ‘inherit’ things from our fore-bearers that are more than ‘just’ genetics, but also ways of being. We can stop that. We don’t have to pass down poor behavior.

The last bit of the book is what it really all comes down to: that sometimes those closest to us are who hurt the most, simply because they have access to our young, tender hearts.


Artistic photo of book cover designed and photographed by me, L. Lindsay. Please follow on Instagram from more like this]

For more information, to connect with Adrienne Brodeur via social media, or to purchase a copy of WILD GAME, please visit: 

Order Links: 

Adrienne_Brodeur-081+copy.jpgABOUT THE AUTHOR: Adrienne Brodeur has spent the past two decades of her professional life in the literary world—discovering voices, cultivating talent, and working to amplify underrepresented writers. Her forthcoming memoir, Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover and Me, will be published by HMH books in October 2019. The film rights were bought by Chernin Entertainment with Kelly Fremon Craig, the director of Edge of Seventeen, attached to adapt and direct.

Adrienne’s publishing career began with founding the fiction magazine, Zoetrope: All-Storywith filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, where she served as editor in chief from 1996-2002. The magazine has won the prestigious National Magazine Award for best fiction four times. In 2005, she became an editor at Harcourt (later, HMH Books), where she acquired and edited literary fiction and memoir. Adrienne left publishing in 2013 to become Creative Director — and later Executive Director — of Aspen Words, a literary arts nonprofit and program of the Aspen Institute. In 2017, she launched the Aspen Words Literary Prize, a $35,000 annual award for an influential work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture.

 Adrienne splits her time between Cambridge and Cape Cod, where she lives with her husband and children.

You can connect with me, Leslie Lindsay via these websites: 



#literary #memoir #WildGame #mothers #daughters #dysfunction #secrets #lies #relationships #alwayswithabook #memoirmonday 


[Cover and author image retrieved from author’s website 10.19.19. Artistic photo of book cover designed and photographed by me, L. Lindsay. Please follow on Instagram from more like this]

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