Use these discussion questions to guide your next meeting.

ABOUT THE BOOK

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

On a hot July night on Cape Cod when Adrienne was fourteen, 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, and 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 precarious 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.

Wild Game is a brilliant, timeless memoir about how the people close to us can break our hearts simply because they have access to them, and the lies we tell in order to justify the choices we make. It’s a remarkable story of resilience, a reminder that we need not be the parents our parents were to us.

THE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

What do we learn about the author from how she tells her tale—both what she chooses to tell, and the tone of voice in which she tells it? Is this a story about her mother’s misbehavior, or about something else?


Revisit the Mary Oliver poem, “The Uses of Sorrow,” that serves as an epigraph to the book. Do you see the darknesses in your own life as gi􏰁s, or would you wish some of them away? Is growth possible without suffering? Consider Margot’s advice to Rennie that happiness is a choice. Is gratitude in the face of life’s difficulties a habit of mind we can choose to cultivate?


Malabar makes life more interesting for everyone, including us as readers. Do you feel a li􏰂le bewitched by her charms? Would she be as compelling without her flaws? Do you admire her? If so, in what ways?


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Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me

“Exquisite and harrowing.” —New York Times Book Review 

 

“This electrifying, gorgeously written memoir will hold you captive until the last word.” —People

 

NAMED A BEST FALL BOOK BY People * Refinery29 * Entertainment Weekly * BuzzFeed * NPR’s On Point * Town & Country * Real Simple * New York Post * Palm Beach Post * Toronto Star * Orange Country Register * Bustle * Bookish * BookPage * Kirkus* BBC CultureDebutiful

 

This Recommended Reading is sponsored in partnership with the author.