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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.

Publisher's Summary

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 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.

Cover design by Christopher Moisan

©2019 Adrienne Brodeur (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

About the Creator

Adrienne Brodeur began her career in publishing as the cofounder, with filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, of National Magazine Award-winning Zoetrope: All-Story. She has worked as a book editor and is currently the executive director of Aspen Words, a program of the Aspen Institute. She lives in Cambridge and on Cape Cod.

What listeners say about Wild Game

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Wild Game

Not for me.
While the story was very sad for the daughter of a very disturbed, inappropriate mother, it just wasn't a book that would hold my interest. Maybe the mother's behavior just made me feel angry.

33 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Self absorbed, unfulfilled but captivating


Self absorbed, unfulfilling and totally captivating
Many memoirs fall into the same traps, but few are quite this enthralling. Of course it’s self absorbed, memoir writing is by definition, and this one is about a particular class of those most fortunate who display no noticeable gratitude. Still, everyone shares some of that, nobody is innocent. Unfulfilled because like many a memoir, the author never points the pen at themselves, and we are denied the same exposure she shines on others of herself. Captivating as it begins with the best gossip ever (I kissed my husband’s best friend!) and never let’s you escape the grip of a half century of intrigue and the search for the meaning of love. I loved it, even, like gossip, when I thought there was something better I should be doing with my time.

31 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Adolescent reading

This is a good book for an adolescent or you adult searching for personal or ethnic identity. This is not a good read for an older adult.

25 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Better toward the end but not enough of a rebound

This story is sad for the author to have lived this life, but it's not interesting enough for others to read about it. Also, the author goes to great links to try and over explain everything from food to scenery and it becomes annoying that they try too hard to visually explain every single detail. I would not recommend this to my friends.

15 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Don't Waste Your Time

This one rates a 3 overall from me strictly due to the narrator, Julia Whelan, who is simply amazing. Read or listen only if you are interested in rich people and their dysfunctional families.

13 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

rich girl upset with selfish mother

In a 2 for one sale on audible, not worth even half price. This is an 8 hour whine by a girl who is completely in thrall to a selfish self-absorbed mother. As an adult she is telling the world the scandal when most of the people she would like to hold accountable are dead or dying.
Poor baby, hope that you get more time on that glorious Cape Cod beach to stew in your own hurt.

12 people found this helpful

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Broken chains

So interesting to me the boundary violations, the secrets, and the impact on the young woman who bore them. I loved this tale—“don’t tell anyone okay? Let this be our secret!”

12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

A new favorite!!

Every so often I like to take a break from my typical book preference of fiction and/or suspense and instead listen/read a memoir or non fiction. But I am very picky and if it’s not immediately captivating I am bored and will find myself searching for a new book. The Glass Castle really started my love for dysfunctional family memoirs or incredible stories of survival against all odds. This one does not disappoint!!! You won’t be able to stop listening! And as always Julia Whelan hit it out of the park. Don’t let the summary fool you, this book isn’t just your run of the mill marital affair story! This is something else! And it’s a winner!!

30 people found this helpful

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What in the world?

So, so dry and boring. I couldn't even finish it. It had good reviews, but I'd rather go to the dentist than listen to this.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I liked the book until the ending

This is an easy book to listen to, filled with interesting details about a mother/daughter relationship that is not healthy. I think most women can relate at some level, as we all have thoughts about the 'enmeshment' we have experienced with our mothers - and most mother/daughter relationships are fraught at some or many points over time.

Without spoiling the end of the memoir, I'll say that there are very few very unhealthy parental relationships that apparently leave as few scars as this author's tale tells. It seemed Brodeur skimmed over any really hard parts for her, and focused on a story book ending that left me feeling doubtful about the honesty of the tale.

She is either incredibly resilient, or she wants to offer some promise to women that 'all will be well' if you just marry a 'healthy' person and go to therapy. I've lived long enough to know those are not magic bullets - though such good fortune might help.

6 people found this helpful