This page-turning memoir about an especially fraught mother-daughter relationship from novelist Brodeur (Man Camp) reads like heady beach fiction. At age 14, Brodeur became enmeshed in her mother Malabar’s affair with Ben—a married lifelong friend of Brodeur’s stepfather Charles—covering for them even after Charles’s death. At 21, Brodeur cheated on a boyfriend with Ben’s son Jack: “like our parents before us, we spoke in a language rich in innuendo.” She later became engaged to Jack, who knew nothing of their parents’ affair, and kept quiet about it until Ben confessed to his family and ended the relationship with Malabar. Brodeur and Jack’s wedding became “Malabar’s battleground. She would be radiant... and show Ben what he was missing”; to that end, Malabar brought out a family heirloom promised to Brodeur on her wedding day—a necklace of allegedly priceless gems—and wore it herself. Wealth and social prominence abound against a summertime Cape Cod backdrop: Malabar was a Boston Globe food columnist, Charles founded the Plimoth Plantation living history museum, and Ben was a proud Mayflower descendant. Nine months after Ben’s wife’s died, Ben and Malabar married, and Malabar quickly cut off Brodeur, whose own marriage was crumbling: “Now that Malabar finally had Ben... she no longer needed me.” This layered narrative of deceit, denial, and disillusionment is a surefire bestseller. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 04/18/2019 Release date: 10/15/2019 Genre: Nonfiction
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