CBR11Bingo- True Story
Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me is a lot to take in. Adrienne Brodeur puts it all out there for us, which I’m sure was great for therapy but I can’t imagine that this book is well-loved by her family.
The book begins with a visit from family friends when Brodeur was fourteen years old. Her step-father Charles’ friend Ben and his wife Lily have come to visit at their summer home. Brodeur’s mother, Malabar, wakes her up from sleep to confess that Ben has just kissed her. Malabar recruits Adrienne (called Rennie throughout) to not only keep this secret, but to help her carry on an affair. Rennie is thrilled to have this much attention from her mother and acquiesces. What follows is a truly stunning tale of terrible parenting. Malabar recruits her child to cover for the time Ben and Malabar spend every night in the guest house together. She gossips with her about her plans to wait until both of their spouses die so that she and Ben can be together. She recruits her to form and carry out a plan to cover their tracks when Malabar is being blackmailed by an employee. And Malabar plays matchmaker for Rennie, setting her up with Ben’s own son so that their families will have to spend even more time together. This goes on for years and the circle of people who know continues to expand.
Brodeur writes that she has kept only the names of herself and her parents and has created aliases for all other people mentioned in the book. I’m not sure what the point of that was- it took me two seconds of internet searching to find out Ben, Lily and Charles’ real names, and then another second to find their son. She mentions everyone by name in her acknowledgements. I will say that her pseudonyms are more believable than the apparently real names of Hatzy and Gusty Hornblower.
It was an interesting book, but not one that I will be revisiting.