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Little Monsters by Adrienne Brodeur
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Little Monsters

$25.19

Get for $14.99 with membership
Length 11 hours 16 minutes
Language English
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A National Bestseller!

“Juicy…simmers with tension as secrets explode out into the open.” —The Washington Post * “So alluring…I raced happily through the pages.” —The New York Times Book Review * “Compulsively readable.” —Vogue * “An absolutely captivating read.” —Elin Hilderbrand

From the author of the bestselling memoir Wild Game comes a riveting novel about Cape Cod, complicated families, and long-buried secrets.

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, Little Monsters is a “smart, page-flipping novel…[with] shades of Succession” (The Boston Globe) from 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.

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Reviews

"Jason Culp is authoritative and sharp-elbowed as patriarch Adam, even as that character battles personal demons. Matt Pittenger captures son Ken's arrogance and insecurities with deft vocal nuances. Cassandra Campbell's Abby veers into a plaintive tone as she copes with her father's and brother's demands. Joy Osmanski and Allyson Ryan portray secondary characters, but their performances are equally convincing; both narrators are no-nonsense and confident in their respective deliveries." Expand reviews