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Publisher's Summary

A daughter's tale of living in the thrall of her magnetic, complicated mother and the chilling consequences of her complicity.

Every time I fail to become more like my mother, I become more like me.

On a hot August night on Cape Cod, when Adrienne was 14, 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; 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 doomed 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. 

This is an audiobook about how the people close to us can break our hearts simply because they have access to them. It's about the lies we tell in order to justify the choices we make. It’s about mothers and daughters and the nature of family. And ultimately, it's a story of resilience, a reminder that we need not be the parents our parents were to us; that moving forward is possible.

©2019 Adrienne Brodeur (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Not since The Glass Castle has a memoir conveyed such a complex family bond, in which love, devotion, and corrosive secrets are inextricably linked" (J. Courtney Sullivan)

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  • Bee
  • 14-02-2020

I'll never eat lobster after this

There's a gripping scene involving lobsters and hardly concealed rage but overall, while the story is interesting it left me a bit cold.

I think this would make for a good dysfunctional family story swap over a bottle of wine or an essay but it is a little thin and bland for a whole book.



I think perhaps my dissatisfaction was in part a result of the narration. The reader has a lovely speaking voice but it was all a bit too smooth and emotions weren't conveyed.

The author herself speaks at the end and I immediately felt I could relate to her better. Her voice is older, scratchy, more lived in than the narrator and I think it's a shame she didn't tell her own story.

1 person found this helpful

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