My Good Reads review:
Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by Adrienne Brodeur
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir; I found the story utterly compelling and the setting is vivid, particularly the descriptions of summer on Cape Cod. As someone who also had a mother who was the star of every show, I really related to Ms. Brodeur’s relationship with Malabar and the difficulty she had separating herself from all that came with being the daughter of such a self-absorbed woman. Highly recommended.
I’ve though a lot about this book in the weeks since I finished it. I googled the family and tried to figure out where in Plymouth they lived. I’ve considered the food that was eaten and the imagery of Cape Cod. The thing I come back to over and over, though, is the relationship between Adrienne and Malabar. And it’s not surprising since that relationship is at the center of the book.
As I mentioned in my review, I related a lot to the toxicity and co-dependence reflected in that relationship as that was something I struggled with in my relationship with my mother. The oversharing, the daily cocktail hours that stretched on and on, the dinner parties, the mood swings, the highs and lows and fights, the desire to be close and also distant, it was all part of my childhood, too. We didn’t play it out in fancy houses but the dynamics were very similar.
And I wonder . . . did I love this book because I could relate to it so well? And for someone who had a healthy relationship with their mother does this become a book that seems far fetched and unreal? Can it be enjoyed as spectacle if the reader can’t see themselves in the author’s life? My hope is that it’s enjoyable for everyone in the Read With Us circle. I’m looking forward to lively discussions next month!