The Confidante

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Family secrets is brought to you by audible tuck in anytime anywhere to audibles unbeatable selection of popular listens get recommendations of voices who may be new to you listen to audible originals that you won't hear anywhere else I love the freedom and inspiration in exchange for absolute loyalty and fidelity family's secrets is a production iheartradio blink and you'll miss your treasure blink again and you'll realize the truth you thought was safely hidden has materialized some ungainly part of it revealed under new conditions we describe Cape Cod more for somebody who's never been there Cape Cod it is just one of the most beautiful slices divorced and we moved from New York my brother and I we moved from New York to Massachusetts and I would say that Cape Cod has always felt like dangerous secret what happens when a child is brought into her mother's private world when a daughter given access to her mother's innermost life carried you must tend to it for years and years my job was to pile on sand fistfuls shovel's bucket foles whatever the wild game my mother her lover and me Adrian is a story of being coerced seduced into the keeping of a powerful and all know the adage that one lie gets the next deception takes commitment vigilance and a very good memory to keep the truth almond necessitated in effort to keep my mother's secret buried that's Adrian Roger Reading from her just released Memoir uh-huh of his in our home and I think it was probably just a very painful thing for my parents to talk about this idea of secrets that aren't below the water is spent so much childhood in votes sort of ferrying across the harbour from one of our houses or my mom deep from ourselves who was born in New York City but when I was very young my parents on Cape Cod and we all believe that that's what we did early in the book you describe in a way the first secret I would say which is of the country but Cape Cod to me it's it's a very sensuous place it's I think of the sand and the seafood and the home base for me I go over that bridge I have sort of a half Laos dog reaction to the briny air and everything else I really feel home there what his name was and how he died so I do remember coming upon it a bit as a secret and yet there were photos of him around and there were I'm Dani Shapiro and this family secrets the secrets that are kept from US secrets we keep from others and the secrets we homes Adrian is one of three children her oldest brother died at two and a half by choking on a piece of meat her mother was completely buried but that we also don't fully know about runs throughout Adrian's story the secrets exist in the landscape that we can apprehend when I dunno if you would characterize it exactly the secret but the loss of your brother I don't actually remember either my parents sitting down and telling me that I had a brother and his there's house but we'd go fishing clamming and it just really sort of most of my happy memories are now remember the big t shirt in the early seventies was happiness is low aren't really supposed to touch upon as a child she was always aware of course sadness that her mother carried a sorrow that floated in the very air of her childhood deep pregnant at the time with Adrian's second brother and then there was Adrian four and four years later on her eldest late brother's birthday stories that we make up as children yes especially in the absence of knowledge or you know where there's some sense that formation she could off feeling that somehow the loss of her brother had something to do with her I'm always struck by the their sadness we don't understand there's an absence we don't understand or there's some story that we don't know and is just human nature as children to me so throughout her childhood Adrian's birthday always came with a whiff of sadness she tried as children due to assemble the bits of cup stories to take the place of those stories and they're almost never good I think those kinds of stories kind of boomerang back on the child as always being straightforward with you Adrian's parents split up when she's eight years old her mother is already years deep into a relationship with a man who's very her soon to be husband has series of four profoundly debilitating strokes so life for Adrian's mother this is my fault or you take it on absolutely and honestly I think we do that as adults to I think it's all so much about so married and it takes some time in doing to extricate themselves from their spouses so they can find their way toward each other but then just before they met get something we all have to be careful of but his children certainly I mean there's so much for trying to figure out right and had so confusing and then also people aren't suddenly looks very different from what she thought it would be instead of this beautiful romance now she has an ailing husband and Adrian is thrust into the role of the belt waking her mother each morning Carpool describe a little bit the home Chestnut Hill so you move from more on Lens our own feelings so you say hello to someone and they don't return it and you make up a story for why they didn't do it rather than oh she didn't hear me or you know I think I mean in chestnut hill which had seventeen bedrooms and nine bathrooms and was just simply the most enormous thing I'd ever seen in my life more modest circumstances into from completely modest circumstances I mean I shared a bedroom with my brother you know I could ensure although and the story we were told which I think is probably true but I don't know is that you know my stepfather have been trying to sort of sell it or get rid of it for years been there in years reach across and touch him you know if I needed are twin beds weren't that far apart and we moved into this mansion on a very long corridor no you know New York apartments you can kind of shout anyone will come we lived in Chestnut Hill and we would go to the eight I was sound asleep in my own bedroom and at some point in time the door opened and my mother came in and she said Rennie which is it was enormous and it was scary I mean it was actually really scary in the beginning of my brother was on a different floor than I was on a different end of the house my mother was mothers and August with my father and we would also shuttle back to New York or Connecticut to visit my father on a lot of weekends into this world is an quite simply no one wanted house that big so in the end we rented many of the rooms on the top floor I mean it was during the seventies just heating the thing deep my mom had a tiny cottage on the Cape Where we would go my father would also come up from New York and rent a house and spend summers on the Cape so we spent July with me gone to bed as my mother's daughter and I woke up as her best friend and confidant and sort of Co conspirator and Hot August night on Cape Cod in nineteen eighty and I was fourteen years old and I was you know Seh late it was late at night and she said Ben South or just kissed me and of course with that my eyes popped open because Ben South there was my stepfather's best friend it was just it was like some you know mother daughter version of Thelma and Louise like I was the girl behind the wheel of the getaway car just well I mean Malibu very much lives up to this grand name of hers I mean she was incredibly glamorous she was and what he didn't know was that evening would mark the beginning of just an epic extramarital love affair that my mother brought me fabulous meals she was clearly you know a narcissist and clearly had dubious maternal instincts but she also was the house is filled with what seems happy boozy cacophony of drinks and Food Adrian's mother whose name is Malabar is a romantic figure Malabar she was born in Bombay and named after Malabar Hill she's a glamorous beautiful woman who is both in control and out of control of everything all at once making food entertaining pouring drinks this is not the sad malabar sleeping through cart cool but quite another Dan I recognized it even in that moment the moment at happened as one of those moments that everything changes so I had I'm guessing she was incredibly excited it's also within the realm of possibility that perhaps something had happened stepfather Charles who is now paralyzed on his right side is in high contrast to his old friend the Hale and healthy Ben South or if mice waiting for her to fly into car and for me to jump on the gas I mean it was just it was so exciting at first earlier that evening out just fourteen and I looked at her and I think is there any moment that I can imagine a man a long on but at the time it was so thrilling and so seductive an so magical just adored my mother and name she said Rennie wake up and I so remember not wanting to wake up I was sort of half thinking about a boy I'd been kissing earlier on the beach and I rolled away comes this man who in your book you referred to as Ben South or South or the story really begins on can't even imagine but no my I mean I actually could do my gymnastic protein in my bedroom you know he'll he'll back in spring and so aside from being sort of thrilling and being charged with being complicit in something that felt exciting it also food to the world and she'd had a food column for the Boston Globe my whole childhood and she would throw these fabulous parties and make little bit earlier or she knew a little bit more than I knew and was planning ahead and knew that she needed my help I mean that's sort of more calculating than I've ever thought about it before but ars matic she also happened to be just an astonishing cook so she had studied at Likud blur she worked in the test kitchen of timely out of the water he was just always going and he loved life and he was very enthusiastically energetically engaged with whatever he was doing really loving and fun which makes it complicated to she wasn't you know there was nothing mummy dearest about her it wasn't she wasn't mean Adrian I she did what she did because it seems so much worse now that I have my own child than it ever did before because as I said it you know it was somewhat exciting and thrilling at the time take a quick break family secrets is brought to you by audible was audible you have a world amazing listens in your pocket all the time jn involving her and something like this and of course the answer is just no but it's it's it's heightened my curiosity about what dot com slash Danny so then what happens how does this kind of precede your mother and Ben Discover new voices listened to a popular author you've been meaning to check out here audible originals the you won't find anywhere else so you first came into your room and said Benza south or kissed me do you think was she bursting with the need to tell someone that's certainly something my mother might have done but it's interesting because of course it was it's my childhood so I'm Ben South there was married which you know of course my mother was married to but they were couple friends and you know I didn't know them well but I knew them I knew they were wing whereas Charles would rather be reading a lovely book and have some quiet what do you think your mother was thinking when so much freedom and inspiration just waiting for you start with a free thirty day audible trial and your first title is free just go to audible mhm normal to me it didn't seem you know of course now I'm just appalled by it and especially because I have a daughter who will be fourteen years old when this book her and one of the things about my mother was you know you could be on her good side or her bad side you could be in or out and I think in that way and you're being being part of their affair or helping them to go off together covering for them my brother and I were always in some kind of competition not as overtly e not necessarily so overtly but in some way just to sort of receive her really noticed about Ben was you know he had to be doing something he had to be building something he had to be fishing hunting he had to be pulling a vote in This is like the big question of all times like what was she thinking and I I'm guessing she'd had way too much to drink winnings and there had been a lot of alcohol consumed was to suggest to walk or a constitutional as my mother called it and you know the whole time the House that she sometimes rented and but was often unoccupied and I would peel off and they would go visit and I would I would transform these meets into you know her beautiful delicacies and we'd have these fees and my role At the end of these seamless great fun and so Ben and Lily his wife would show up at least monthly with some big hunk of meat also I sort of bought hook line and sinker a story that I was told which was essentially that no one meant for this to happen favor and her good wishes that was just a small bit of sunshine and love definitely was a pie in our case I mean there was only so much no one was in good health and so I would suggest a walk and we would merrily swing out the door and go up the road we were often sing new couple friends so my mother has said was just a brilliant cook and Ben was recreational hunter and fisherman and and we battled for it and sometimes he was ahead and sometimes I was ahead and this certainly put me ahead for a while so my mother quickly set up a Reuss for the affair on because it it involved it was an affair that was carried out in plain sight these were too i Charles was all in his head Ben was incredibly physical I mean he was also successful businessman and all those things in very smart but that they would no sooner above all they did not want to hurt their spouses they love their spouses they did not wish to hurt these people and didn't like fell in love and who can help that this was not planned this was not intended they fell madly in love and that we all knew that the spouses wouldn't come they were both in frail health so my stepfather had had his strokes Ben's wife Lily was a cancer survivor other had not been as good to him this haunted her for a long time it's still haunts her Charles had spent a lot of time in the hospital just like the teenage chaperone. I mean you wouldn't suspect if you your husband or your wife was going off with a fourteen year old present on fifteen and six so the idea that they had was to make wild game cookbook together and this was met with delight from all parties spouses were into it too it just day but that was that was the story I was told in per certainly the first several years I ought it whole what if that's what you're asking which I'm not sure it is but I know I mean mostly I was so happy to see my mother happy and but it's it just seems terrible to me now

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