Untamed. Finished 12-27-20, memoir, 5 stars, 352 pages, pub. 2020
There is a voice of longing inside each woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good partners, daughters, mothers, employees, and friends. We hope all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives and wonder: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? We quickly silence that question, telling ourselves to be grateful, hiding our discontent—even from ourselves.
For many years, Glennon Doyle denied her own discontent. Then, while speaking at a conference, she looked at a woman across the room and fell instantly in love. Three words flooded her mind: There She Is. At first, Glennon assumed these words came to her from on high. But she soon realized they had come to her from within. This was her own voice—the one she had buried beneath decades of numbing addictions, cultural conditioning, and institutional allegiances. This was the voice of the girl she had been before the world told her who to be. Glennon decided to quit abandoning herself and to instead abandon the world’s expectations of her. She quit being good so she could be free. She quit pleasing and started living.
I don’t know Glennon Doyle, or at least I didn’t until I spontaneously purchased this book the one time I’ve been inside a bookstore since Covid. I’m a sucker for a great cover and I love this one and I was also wanting to support the independent bookstore with as many purchases as possible. One can never have too many books, of course. I’m so glad that I picked this up to read a week or so ago because it was such a nice way to end my reading year.
Glennon talks about her past as a Christian writer and speaker, her marriage that fell apart after infidelity, the moment that she falls in love with Abby, and how she makes her life work for her three kids after the dust has settled. With these stories she mingles insights about parenthood, sexuality, being a Christian, feminism, medication, addiction, race, and finding your inner ‘Knowing’. Quite a few of the chapters really spoke to me and the way she told her and Abby’s story was so endearing.
I could/should take the time to write more about this book, because it is my favorite non-fiction this year, but I’m content just to let you know I loved it. I now follow Glennon on Facebook and she and Abby post videos sometimes that feel like a continuation of this book and a glimpse into their love story. Or you can pick it up just because you like the cover, like I did, and be happily surprised by the life truths found in it.