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Little Monsters

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When Abby abruptly changes the relationship with no explanation, it is the cut that continues to fester as Ken’s central wound. Somehow this book covers so many topics but never feels like our author was trying to check off all the boxes.

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. The culturally specific language in Little Monsters is lively, au courant, and at times delightfully salty, giving insight to the times and nuance to all personalities in a tightly crafted story of a family that would like to connect, but is in denial of its individual and collective wounds. With clear allusions to the biblical tale of Cain and Abel, this is a narrative that I highly recommend you experience for yourself.What he hadn’t expected was that the doctor who’d been treating him for the last three decades had retired.

The bohemian, single Abby is a “graduate of RISD, 1999” and had been “making art on Cape Cod ever since. Renowned oceanographer Adam Gardner is about to turn seventy, and plans to have a large party populated by family, friends, and old colleagues alike where he can unveil his most recent—and possibly last—great discovery. And the plot is a captivating tale about life, loss, heartache, guilt, love, secrets, revelations, acceptance, familial drama, friendship, hope, mental illness, forgiveness, and introspection. I skipped over the entire middle of the book and was easily able to pick up right before the 70th birthday party, without feeling I missed a beat. For instance, it’s irritating and a little boring that Steph’s wife’s only personality trait is being into astrology.An overhead movement caught his attention, an osprey being driven over the tree line by a group of smaller birds. It is summer 2016, and as Adam’s birthday celebration approaches, the family drama unfolds on the cusp of radical change.

Set against the backdrop of a very beautiful and familiar area of cape code, all of the characters are relatable, likeable, hateable in their choices. Sometimes that's how families are, disjointed, dysfunctional, and working with what they have and keeping it together as best they can.Little Monsters by Adrienne Brodeur was well written and really captured the essence of scenic Cape Cod with its stunning landscape and foliage. Ken, a businessman with political ambitions, is caught in an internet chatroom and forced into couples therapy.

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