When Adrienne Brodeur turned 14 years old, her mother, Malabar told a secret that would forever change their relationship.
As Brodeur writes in her highly anticipated memoir Wild Game, 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 doomed marriage of her own, and then into a deep depression. Only years later did she find the strength to embrace her life — and her mother — on her own terms.
Brodeur, a longtime book editor who’s worked in the literary sphere for years, has generated quite the hype with her memoir. Rights were acquired by the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the seven figures, beating out 14 publishing houses. Kelly Fremon Craig, the director of Edge of Seventeen, has preemptively bought the film rights with a script already completed. The novel is publishing this fall, with the potential to rise to the success level of last year’s breakout Educated.
“There came a point in my life when it became clear that playing [my story] for laughs undermined the pain I was in and had caused others,” Brodeur tells EW. “It was then that I found a more authentic voice and decided to reckon with the truth of it head on, as a memoir.”
Citing such award-winning authors as Joan Didion and Mary Karr and poets like Tracy K. Smith and the late Mary Oliver as inspirations, Brodeur says writing Wild Game helped her come to terms with what happened between her and her mother. “Even though my mother’s narcissism has been a destructive force in my life, I’ve always felt deeply compassionate toward her. In my childhood, it was normal to put her needs before my own and protect her secrets,” she says. “Lightbulbs went off in my head as I entered adulthood, but it wasn’t until I became a mother myself, holding my own daughter in my arms, that I understood the depth of my mother’s betrayal and its profound impact on my life. Writing Wild Game allowed connections to emerge, lighting up the order of happenings and enabling me to make sense of how I became me. It also helped me to forgive her.”
Brodeur has exclusively shared the cover for Wild Game with EW, which you can see below. The book publishes Oct. 15 and is available for pre-order.