Adrienne Brodeur on a Secret’s Destructive Allure
A shared secret can be an aspect of mutual trust – or a terrible burden. Author Adrienne Brodeur’s debut memoir, Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me, follows her mother’s decision to make her daughter into a confidante and confederate – with lifelong consequences. The night that, Brodeur’s mother roused her from sleep to confess that her husband’s best friend had kissed her, Adrienne, was only fourteen, and initially thrilled to be taken into her distant and often self-absorbed mother’s confidence. As the kiss quickly turned into a full blown affair, she threw herself into the role of orchestrator, planning meetings, providing alibis, even devising an elaborate letter writing campaign to discredit the housekeeper who discovered the affair. But what began as an opportunity to bask in her mother’s love, soon became a decade-long trap, one that would wreak havoc on Adrienne’s own marriage and drive her into a deep depression. The book, which tracks both the affair and its aftermath, manages a rare balancing act: Brodeur holds the reader’s attention via emotionally charged, suspenseful scenes, while threading through the much subtler, almost philosophical journey towards Adrienne’s self-realization.