I have never read a Glennon Doyle memoir. I had, in fact, never heard of Glennon Doyle until I started seeing the cover of her newest book, Untamed, all over my Instagram feed, along with rave reviews by friends, acquaintances and strangers alike. As someone who is a little wary of self-help books disguised as memoirs, I approached Untamed with a healthy dose of skepticism mixed with a teaspoon of expectation that all my problems will be solved by discovering the secret to success/happiness/adulting at the end of the book.
Untamed explores Doyle's discovery of her truest self (so far). As her book Love Warrior was being released in 2016, she was grappling with her husband's infidelity, a crisis of faith, and an overwhelming feeling of self-abandonment. After experiencing what could only be described as "love at first sight" with soccer star Abby Wambach, Doyle realized that until she served herself - until she put herself first - she could not serve others. The pair married in 2017 and Doyle has since been navigating how to honor that self-discovery and her new family structure, following the guidance of her deepest inner voice. Untamed takes a look at that journey, and Doyle explains, through a great many clever metaphors, how we can discover our own inner voice.
This is the crux of Untamed: through letting go of expectations (from society, family, religion, and mass media), we can become our truest, wildest selves. By tuning out the voices that are clamoring to get into our heads, the voices of our families, social media, celebrities, et cetera, and listening to our own inner voice, we can understand ourselves as individuals, rather than as products of our upbringing, our churches, our surroundings, and our indoctrinations.
Each chapter is a mini-essay, exploring everything from parenting, to the development of shame among young girls, discovering one's sexuality in middle age, and how to be a better partner. And while there's plenty of "woo woo," as I like to call it, to go around, I was captivated by Doyle's skillful writing and found myself thinking, that's me! That's my experience too! at a number of points. While my expectation of an instant life fix at the end of the book was not met, there were some really poignant lessons I learned while reading this book, and I certainly have a lot to think about. I may even read the book again!
Did you read Untamed? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Happy reading :)