Friday Book Club: J-Dub’s Review of Wild Game My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by Adrienne Brodeur

Sidebar before the review. For the first time in I can’t remember when, I didn’t read enough of the 2022 popular books to vote in Goodreads best of … In all the categories combined, I read only one of the books in the running. Guess I need to read more or pick from contemporary selections more often. I’ve already met my goal for 2022 since it is an easy achievement to read one book per month. My SMART goal = Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time-bound. My day job interferes & while I can usually get in two books a month, I’ve been a bit aimless & unable to concentrate lately. Excuse excuses.

This book is a memoir & I have strict rules about giving my two cents to something so personal. This story reads like fiction though. Borrowing from one reviewer, the prose is absolutely beautiful. My oh my can the author paint pictures with her words. I love her nickname – Rennie short for Adrienne. Because y’all know I’ve got a thing for nicknames. I collect them & give them out handily.

As I always do when reading, I internalize to my story & try to imprint something useful in my life or to escape my life. This time, I didn’t have to look far. Encouraged by her stepmom to do so, Rennie begins to read, then discusses the books afterwards. This brings her much need respite. She uses note cards to write quotes & factoids about how the words integrate into her own life. I have always done this for as long as I can remember. It is called keeping a commonplace book. The only difference is she used index cards to my journals. A friend eventually gives her a tin box like for recipes to organize the cards. There is symbolism there since Rennie’s mom, Malabar was a chef. I ❤ this so much!! At the heart of it this book is a story of family & the ties that bind. Relationships taking on lives of their own. The heart wants what the heart wants & be damn the consequences. Her mother putting it loosely is a piece of work. That’s where I will stop because you know, not my business to judge.

Now for a few quotes from my commonplace book. All quotes except one noted below are attributed to the author

  • When you lie to someone you love … you lose the only thing that matters, a possibility of a real connection.
  • Loneliness is not about how many people you have around you. It’s about whether or not you feel connected. Whether or not you’re able to be yourself.
  • It was as if a lifetime’s worth f emotional chutes & trapdoors installed for self protection decades ago had malfunctioned in a spectacular way.
  • Memory is an odd curator.
  • But time didn’t stop there; instead it kept scrolling backwards.
  • Let everything happen to you / Beauty & terror / Just keep going / No feeling is final. ~ Rilke
  • Why is it that an insult stays with you forever, whereas love & praise passes through you like water through a sieve?
  • If there is one truth that I’d learned from all my reading, it was this: Happy endings do not apply to everyone.
  • Our allegiance had always been to Malabar, not each other; we’d grown up like vines willing to strangle each other for sunshine.
  • Time leaped erractically: slow days, fast months, winged years.

Definitely a recommended read. Peace be with you. Until next time.

As always, more to come.