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Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur

Wild Game

Early Release
This is an early release that's only available to our members—the rest of the world has to wait 'til next month to read it.

by Adrienne Brodeur

Quick take

You know when you realize your parents aren't superheroes but real, flawed people? This is a lot like that.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Cerebral


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LoveTriangle

    Love triangle

  • Illustrated icon, Literary


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MarriageIssues

    Marriage issues

Why I love it

Jessica Turner
Founder, The Mom Creative

I’m not a big nonfiction reader, but I devoured Wild Game (pun intended). As a mother of three kids, I’m acutely aware of the role I have in their life and appreciate the sacred gift to usher them into adulthood. Maybe that explains my shock and utter dismay over this true story of the author Adrienne’s relationship with her mother, Malabar. The ways in which Malabar repeatedly crossed lines that should never be crossed was unconscionable.

In Wild Game, Malabar pursues an affair with her disabled husband’s best friend, using her daughter, Adrienne, as a distraction, confidante, and accomplice to keep her relationship a secret and ensure its success. Adrienne’s desire to protect her mother—a deeply flawed but undeniably magnetic woman—and her blindness to the inappropriateness of her mother’s actions is heart-wrenching. I was dumbfounded at the manipulation and selfishness of Adrienne’s mother.

Wild Game is sure to be one of 2019’s must-read memoirs, and fans of The Glass Castle and Educated will love that it is similarly compulsively readable. I read it in 24 hours and am still thinking about it weeks later. Adrienne’s mother is as enigmatic as she is selfish—how could anyone act like this? You’ll be talking about just that with friends, strangers—anyone who will listen—for a long time.

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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.

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Get an early look from the first pages of Wild Game.

Member thoughts

All (5076)
All (5076)
Love (2169)
Like (2438)
Dislike (469)
5190 ratings
  • 42% Love
  • 47% Like
  • 9% Dislike
  • Cadillac, MI

    I love memoirs. It’s amazing and heartbreaking to get glimpses into others’ lives, and this book didn’t disappoint. There’s a strong theme of finding and owning your own identity. Loved it, recommend.

  • Quincy, MA

    Don’t know if “loved” is the right word for how I felt about this book, but it was definitely a ride that I had a hard time putting down. If you love books about complicated families, this is for you!

  • Murphy, TX

    This whole book feels like you’re sitting at a coffee shop, with a coworker you have recently befriended as she spills her whole dramatic life story to you. The story that you don’t ever want to end.

  • Ferndale, MI

    I was immediately intrigued by Adrienne’s relationship with her mom. Reading about how her mother’s choices impacted her life throughout not only her childhood, but throughout adulthood was amazing.

  • Columbia, MO

    Can’t believe the boundaries crossed and the life essentially hijacked. I think it’s written pretty fairly to those involved and I loved the reflection on the impact it played in her life trajectory!

  • Plano, TX

    This was a fast read for me. The way the mother used her daughter and how it affected the daughter mentally was horrible and gave you insight on how parents’ actions affect their children long term.

  • Griswold, CT

    Malabar and Adrienne’s mother/daughter relationship is something a lot of women can relate to in some level. I don’t read non fiction but I think it’s great she wrote this and reads it to her mom.

  • Wheaton, IL

    The author’s life is full of dysfunction, thanks to her self-absorbed mother. But like the aftermath of a crash, you are repelled, yet fascinated, and you can’t look away. I couldn’t stop reading!

  • Golden Valley, MN

    This memoir absolutely reads like a fiction. So interesting getting a front row seat into others lives who show you that you’re not always alone. Tells a story of the beautiful and complicated moments

  • Lake View, NY

    I loved this book, it was next to impossible to put down. I felt so awful for the author and it truly shows the negative affect a parent can have on their child. I’ve recommended it to multiple people

  • Norman, OK

    This book is so unexpectedly relatable. The author’s raw depiction of how her relationship with her mother steered the direction for much of her adult life is something many of us feel and understand.

  • Brooklyn, NY

    I was drawn in by Adrienne's relationship with her mother, it made me reflect my own relationship with my mother. Reading about how her mother's decisions changed her throughout her life was intriguing

  • Buda , TX

    OMG!!!! What a story.... what a mother and what a daughter. It’s story about the relationship between a daughter, a mother and love. But it proves that love comes at a unseen costs. YOU MUST READ!!!!!

  • Corapeake, NC

    I don’t really read memoirs but this was amazing. Her story was so compelling I just fell into it. She describes her relationship with her mother to the point where you feel it too. So good. A must.

  • Brooklyn, NY

    I’m not a non fiction fan,but could not put this book down.A heart wrenching story of a daughter-mother relationship and a journey to become oneself, moving away from hurtful overwhelming experiences

  • New york , NY

    I loved this book. What a beautiful memoir. Often we think of abuse to the extremes both physical and mental, but we forget the lasting impact that our relationships with our parents can have. So good

  • Winthrop, MA

    Captivating from the start. Read it in one evening. A beautifully written memoir about one of life's greatest lessons: when we're young we love our parents, but we grow up and don't always like them.

  • Broomfield , CO

    Loved this book! It was heart wrenching to read how a mother could put so much responsibility on her daughter and not even recognize it. Sadly, I think this happens more than we realize. Great read!


    Quick read. Makes you think about your relationships with others and how easily it can be to compromise your beliefs especially when it comes to securing a family member's love albeit unhealthy love

  • Bristol, CT

    Easy read. The story of the mother daughter relationship was really interesting, although the dynamics of the relationship were maybe not that unusual the mother's affair was a stress for the author.

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