Little Monsters

Avid Reader Jun. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781982198107. $28. F
DEBUT In her first novel, Brodeur returns to the complicated bonds of family that made her memoir Wild Game a hit. Set in the stunning landscape of Cape Cod as the summer of 2016 winds down and the tensions of the historic presidential election heat up, the novel begins with the Gardner family preparing to celebrate the 70th birthday of patriarch Adam. His children, Ken and Abby, lost their mother just after Abby’s birth, and their relationship is deeply complex as a result. Adam’s life as a celebrated marine biologist and his attendant bipolar disorder often left the children stranded in a world of their own. Now adults with lives, secrets, and ambitions, Ken and Abby each struggle to come to terms with their place in the family, at the same time as a stranger enters the equation. Adam’s faculties are failing too, as he strains to make one final discovery.
VERDICT Family drama novels abound, but Brodeur’s searing insight into character, motivations, and relationships will leave readers gasping in recognition and appreciation. Don’t miss this masterpiece.
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