Untamed by Glennon Doyle is not really the type of book I tend to read but I have to say it was interesting and made me think.
I’m not a big nonfiction reader. I think it’s because I work in journalism and I’m a huge news junkie. So I consume a lot of news. When it comes to reading, I crave fiction and the art of storytelling. But since starting Book Club Chat two years ago, I’ve started to read more nonfiction and memoirs. Some of the best ones include Becoming, To Catch and Kill and Killers of the Flower Moon. But despite reading more in nonfiction, I really haven’t read anything in the self-help category.
I’m a huge fan of Reese Witherspoon’s book club and have read so many of the books she recommends. So when I saw she picked Untamed by Glennon Doyle for her April book, my first thought was, “wow, what an amazing cover.” And my second thought was, “Who is Glennon Doyle?” I somehow missed that she’s a hugely popular writer who was really propelled into the mainstream by Oprah.
I kept seeing this book everywhere and several book clubs reached out to me to write questions for it. As I’m here to serve my fantastic readers, I purchased the book so I could write questions. I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I have to say, I liked it. And there were a couple points that I started to really ponder.
If you need a refresher like I did, prior to Untamed, Glennon Doyle is the author of Love Warrior (the Oprah Book Club selection) and Carry On, Warrior. She was known as a Christian mommy blogger who focused on self-discovery, parenting and faith. But since her second book was published, Glennon divorced her husband and married soccer star Abby Wambach. And in doing so, it seems she finally embraced who she really is.
I really enjoyed reading about the first time she met Abby and the process for her to come out to her fans. She talks a lot about Abby, who I’ve always been a fan of, and I really liked reading about their relationship.
Glennon seems to be very honest about pretty much every aspect of her life. She’s still fairly close with her ex-husband, in fact, there’s a scene where Abby and him are playing soccer together. She highlights blended families aren’t easy and it’s just part of the process.
She also covers her past including getting clean and sober. Glennon was bulimic as a teenager, which has had lasting impacts on her. She definitely tries to uncover where that pain came from and you wonder if it’s because she wasn’t allowed to love who she really wanted to love until she was in her 40s. There’s also talk about faith and what religion really means to her.
The self-help part
Glennon loves her metaphors! The book starts off with her witnessing a cheetah appearing caged in by her zoo life, which serves as metaphor for all people, especially women, being caged in by society’s expectations. I will say Glennon goes a little too much on metaphors but I see the point she’s making overall. She really seems to want women to take control of their lives and not to give up on their wants and desires just because their environment tries to force them in a box.
In the end, she wants women to be comfortable with being themselves, which is a lot easier said than done. But a quote I especially liked: “When a woman finally learns that pleasing the world is impossible, she becomes free to learn how to please herself.”
The book is full of quotes and future Pinterest pins.
Glennon is a good writer and it’s interesting how she framed key events in life and those close to her and turned it into lessons for all women. So it’s not so much a straight-up memoir but really a memoir and a self-help guide.
I think it’s easy to think that we have it generally figured out. So I have to say, I’m really glad these book clubs asked for questions, I don’t think I would have read it otherwise and I’m glad I did. I won’t say my life is changed but it did give me plenty to think about. And it’s a good reminder of being true to yourself no matter what.
Alright, book clubs – the questions are ready for you! Check them out here.