August Reading Recommendation

The WomenIN book recommendation for August is Untamed by Glennon Doyle

The sparkly, colourful cover of Untamed caught my eye. A woman leaving a traditional marriage to be with the woman she’d fallen in love with at first sight, that captured my attention. As I read the book I thought about the integrity and courage required to leave what you have in order to build something new. Not done on a whim, but after deep introspection fully aware of all of the pain and uncertainty. All for the sake of being true to yourself.

The author Glennon Doyle makes it clear that she didn’t rush headlong into making them, despite the book describing her decision to leave her marriage in a few quick passages. She took the time to examine her life and identify what she wanted for herself, versus what she had been told she should want. “I looked hard at my faith, my friendships, my work, my sexuality, my entire life and asked: How much of this was my idea? Do I truly want any of this, or is this what I was conditioned to want?” [Sparks pg.3] There are plenty of examples of the conditioning she (and we all) received in growing up; about staying slim, looking young, being a good person, martyring herself for her children to be a good parent. Glennon refers to all of these as cages that we fit ourselves into because we believe we have to. Yet, as she points out in a story, the door isn’t even locked and we can leave those cages at any time.

That’s not to say that she just upended her life as a form of rebellion against what she was taught growing up. “Freedom is not being for or against an ideal, but creating your own existence from scratch.” [Ghosts pg. 1] Instead, Glennon took the time to make changes to get to where she really wanted to be. She did so in a constructive way, ensuring that her family understood the changes and that her children were supported through the changes. The message, that she was building a “truer more beautiful life” for herself and her family is reiterated throughout the book.

Untamed is an inspirational book of triumph and happiness. The triumph of finding out who you truly are and the happiness that comes with living that truth. For me it was the first, but not the last, book by Glennon Doyle. I had never heard of her before. In her earlier books she wrote about her eating disorder, her addiction, and the struggles in her marriage. She has had fans tell her that they could relate to her a lot better when she was struggling through difficult times. On Goodreads reviews there are many who are skeptical of her new found life. The happiness she has found is deemed to be temporary. I think these miss the point of book, it’s not about finding happiness, it’s about finding yourself, it’s about how much better life feels when you do.

This book is a testimonial of a strong, confident woman who after many trials found a truer, freer version of herself and is unabashedly celebrating her life.

by Ines Quandel

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