112th: Adrienne Brodeur for LITTLE MONSTERS
Join us Wednesday, June 28th at 7pm for a reading and conversation with Adrienne Brodeur to celebrate the release of her newest book, Little Monsters. Avid Reader Press Editorial Director Lauren Wein will join in conversation.
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From the author of the bestselling memoir Wild Game comes a riveting novel about Cape Cod, complicated families, and long-buried secrets—for fans of the New York Times bestsellers The Paper Palace and Ask Again, Yes.
Ken and Abby Gardner lost their mother when they were small and they have been haunted by her absence ever since. Their father, Adam, a brilliant oceanographer, raised them mostly on his own in his remote home on Cape Cod, where the attachment between Ken and Abby deepened into something complicated—and as adults their relationship is strained. Now, years later, the siblings’ lives are still deeply entwined. Ken is a successful businessman with political ambitions and a picture-perfect family and Abby is a talented visual artist who depends on her brother’s goodwill, in part because he owns the studio where she lives and works.
As the novel opens, Adam is approaching his seventieth birthday, staring down his mortality and fading relevance. He has always managed his bipolar disorder with medication, but he’s determined to make one last scientific breakthrough and so he has secretly stopped taking his pills, which he knows will infuriate his children. Meanwhile, Abby and Ken are both harboring secrets of their own, and there is a new person on the periphery of the family—Steph, who doesn’t make her connection known. As Adam grows more attuned to the frequencies of the deep sea and less so to the people around him, Ken and Abby each plan the elaborate gifts they will present to their father on his birthday, jostling for primacy in this small family unit.
Set in the fraught summer of 2016, and drawing on the biblical tale of Cain and Abel, Little Monsters is an absorbing, sharply observed family story by a writer who knows Cape Cod inside and out—its Edenic lushness and its snakes.
Adrienne Brodeur is the author of the memoir Wild Game, which was selected as a Best Book of the Year by NPR and The Washington Post and is in development as a Netflix film. She founded the literary magazine Zoetrope: All-Story with Francis Ford Coppola, and currently serves as executive director of Aspen Words, a literary nonprofit and program of the Aspen Institute. She splits her time between Cambridge and Cape Cod, where she lives with her husband and children.
Before joining Avid Reader Press, where she oversees the imprint’s fiction and memoir program, Lauren Wein spent more than two decades as an editor, first at Grove Atlantic, where she also served as rights director, and then at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Since arriving at Avid Reader, she has published two Reese’s Book Club selections—Group by Christie Tate and Infinite Country by Patricia Engel, both New York Times bestsellers. Other notable publications in recent years include Antoine Wilson’s Mouth to Mouth (one of Obama’s favorite books of 2022) and Julia May Jonas’s Vladimir (an Amazon best book of the month and Book of the Month main selection), Adrienne Brodeur’s Wild Game (an Amazon and People Magazine top-ten book of the year), and Lori Gottlieb’s Maybe You Should Talk to Someone (a New York Times bestseller and an Amazon top-ten book of the year).