“This memoir is so packed with incredible insight about what it means to be a woman today, what it means to be ‘good,’ and what women will do in order to be loved. I swear I highlighted something in EVERY chapter.” —Reese Witherspoon

This past April, Reese Witherspoon choose Untamed by Glennon Doyle (The Dial Press) as a Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine Book Pick. The book has gone on to garner praise from critics, authors and readers alike. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love raves that “Untamed will liberate women — emotionally, spiritually, and physically. It is phenomenal,” while Booktrib favorite Brené Brown lauded the book’s ability to move the reader, saying “Some books shake you by the shoulder while others steal your heart. In Untamed, Glennon does both at the exact same time.”

A FOLLOW-UP TO LOVE WARRIOR

Several years ago, I had read Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton and I recall feeling inspired and moved by her motivating and vulnerable approach to overcoming difficult times and finding love. Her marriage had some challenges, but by the end of the book they had worked everything out and were together, stronger than ever.  As soon as I finished the book I googled Glennon (as I often do look up an author to learn more) only to discover that she had just announced she and her husband were separated and she was in a relationship with Abby Wambach, the famous soccer player.

That powerful book got a lot of press. It was authentic and true to the author when written, but so much had changed in her life that by the time Love Warrior was released, her truth had evolved. Doyle was brave to continue moving forward, setting an example in doing so, as our stories are always constantly changing. We all have the right to tell our truths as they come, and Untamed is the newest edition of Glennon Doyle’s truth.

Glennon has a unique voice that many people find relatable and enjoyable. Her story is tragic and victorious at the same time. She was bulimic at 10 years old, and as she got older she became an alcoholic. She got pregnant at 25 and married the father because they decided that was the right thing to do at the time. They had two other children after that, and then he cheated on her. Initially, they worked things out, and that is when Love Warrior was written. Then Glennon and her husband, Craig, split and she fell in love with and married Abby Wambach.

LEARNING FROM THE PAST TO BUILD A HAPPIER FUTURE

Untamed is mostly about her life today, although she revisits her early struggles often. While she uses these to illustrate how far she’s come and drive home certain points, I do get the feeling her struggles with body image, insecurity and anxiety are not over.

I enjoyed many of Glennon’s parenting stories and admire her activist efforts, her ambition and her continual quest for the best of everything. Her writing is fun and easy to read with a bit of “therapy speak.” Sometimes I got the feeling she is recounting conversations from therapy sessions. This is a quick read with some valuable nuggets on living your best life, and being the parent, partner and person you want to be.

According to Glennon, today she uses her weaknesses as superpowers and channels her sensitivity and anxiety into being a good activist. Her friend, author Elizabeth Gilbert, advised her not to spend her entire life concentrating on helping other people, but Glennon is driven. She was a grade school teacher, a Christian mommy blogger, and is currently the founder and president of Together Rising.

WHAT WOMEN WANT FOR THEMSELVES AND THE WORLD

Glennon is a role model and an advocate for women. She actively works to make changes. Among the best nuggets in the book are the ones she gathered from asking other women what they want out of life. I’ll leave you with some of what they said:

I want a minute to take a deep breath.

I want rest, peace, passion.

I want good food and true, wild, intimate sex.

I want relationships with no lies.

I want to be comfortable in my own skin.

I want to be seen, to be loved.

I want joy and safety for my children and for everyone else’s children.

I want justice for all.

I want help, community, and connection.

I want to be forgiven, and I want to finally forgive.

I want enough money and power to stop feeling afraid.

I want to find my purpose down here and live it out fully.

I want to look at the news and see less pain, more love.

I want to look at the people in my life and really see them and love them.

I want to look in the mirror and really see myself.

I want to feel alive.

Untamed is available for purchase.

Photo credit: Amy Paulson

Glennon Doyle, previously known as Glennon Doyle Melton, is known for her number-one New York Times bestsellers Untamed and Love Warrior and her bestseller Carry On, Warrior. Doyle is also the creator of the online community Momastery, and is the founder and president of Together Rising, an all-women-led nonprofit organization supporting women, families, and children in crisis. Doyle writes and speaks frequently about early struggles with bulimia and addiction. In her 2013 TEDx talk, “Lessons from the Mental Hospital,” she discusses time spent in a mental hospital when she was a teen. She currently lives in Florida with her wife and three children.