Book Review: ‘Untamed’ offers raw, relatable look at modern womanhood

Glennon Doyle, the New York Times best-selling author of "Carry On, Warrior" and "Love Warrior," released her newest memoir "Untamed." Photo courtesy of Random House Publishing Group.

By Andie Chilson | Reporter

New York Times best-selling author Glennon Doyle released her latest memoir, “Untamed,” last month that explores faith, womanhood and sexuality in a brutally honest and deeply relatable way.

Doyle has written two memoirs prior to “Untamed,” including “Carry On, Warrior” and “Love Warrior,” the latter of which detailed the downfall and subsequent salvaging of her first marriage. Weeks before the release of “Love Warrior,” Doyle announced that her marriage was over and she was in love with someone else: Olympic soccer player Abby Wambach.

“Untamed” follows Doyle’s ‘second act’ as she navigates the complexities of a second marriage and a newly blended family. But it also speaks to far more universal, profound ideas that women of all ages, races and sexual orientations will relate to.

Once a Christian ‘mommy blogger,’ Doyle describes her new-found liberation in her evolving view of faith. Through anecdotal stories of herself, her wife and her children, Doyle shares how adopting a more malleable, personal view of God allowed her to accept herself and live the life she was always meant to live.

“To me, faith is not a public allegiance to a set of outer beliefs, but a private surrender to the inner Knowing,” Doyle said, in “Untamed,” of her new-found view on faith.

The idea of an inner ‘knowing’ is a common theme throughout “Untamed.” Doyle describes the wisdom or intuition that everyone has as a guiding compass that should be listened to and heeded throughout their lives.

Doyle argues that women have been taught through society, organized religion and toxic gender norms that there is only one ‘acceptable’ type of woman, and when women fail to fit this mold they feel fundamentally defective. It is not until women accept these norms as arbitrary and societally constructed, Doyle argues, that they will be free to accept themselves for who they are and live their “truest, most beautiful lives.”

“Untamed” delves into the ways Doyle’s personal hardships made her more resilient, present and honest. Doyle struggled with bulimia and alcoholism for much of her life, and she attributes her challenges with both to her newfound sense of self and courageous approach to living.

This memoir inspires readers to pursue the most authentic, exciting version of their lives. It also forces readers to examine how they conduct themselves in the world and makes them face some hard truths. Doyle tackles such topics from racism and white privilege to homophobia and sexism. Though she relays the messages about these controversial topics through accounts of her own life, Doyle tells them in such a way that it feels as if she is speaking directly to the reader.

“Untamed” is a deeply candid, emotional memoir of one woman’s life that is sure to resonate with millions. It is undoubtedly one of the most important and revolutionary books of 2020, and maybe of our lifetime.