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Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Narrative nonfiction

Untamed

by Glennon Doyle

Quick take

A memoir jam-packed with life lessons for all the modern feminists struggling to find their place in today’s world.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Emotional

    Emotional

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Feminist

    Feminist

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Inspirational

    Inspirational

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LGBTQ

    LGBTQ+ themes

Actress Kristen Bell recommends Untamed this month.

Why I love it

These days, I am clinging to stories of hope as if they are life rafts. Reading Untamed has helped me course correct the uncertainty, fear, and anxiety that I’m constantly fighting. This book has been my North Star for being vulnerable and self-examination.

Untamed is divided into short, meditative chapters, with titles like “sparks” and “girl gods” and “sandcastles.” Each chapter is a profoundly honest tale from her life. They chart her experience dealing with societal expectations, finding sobriety, and realizing true love and also provide endless food for thought on themes of integrity, self-fulfillment, motherhood, and feminism. I feel lucky to call Glennon a friend and mentor—she is a wry chronicler of her experiences, and she doesn’t shy away from talking about the messy moments, ones in which she is not the hero of the story.

I have gleaned so much knowledge from this book and have absorbed many of her lessons into my molecules. She reminds us that it’s okay to be flawed. It’s okay to go against the grain. It’s okay to speak your truth. I have about a hundred pages earmarked and a thousand lines highlighted, so I can reference her words whenever I need them. She makes me better and I am forever grateful to her for that.

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Synopsis

There is a voice of longing inside every woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good mothers, daughters, partners, employees, citizens, and friends. We believe all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives, relationships, and world, and wonder: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? We quickly silence that question, telling ourselves to be grateful. We hide our simmering discontent—even from ourselves. Until we reach our boiling point.

Four years ago, Glennon Doyle was speaking at a conference when a woman entered the room. Glennon looked at her 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. Soon she realized that they came to her from within.

Glennon was finally hearing her own voice—the voice that had been silenced by decades of cultural conditioning, numbing addictions, and institutional allegiances. This was the voice of the girl Glennon had been before the world told her who to be. She vowed to never again abandon herself. She decided to build a life of her own—one based on her individual desire, intuition, and imagination. She would reclaim her true, untamed self.

Soulful and uproarious, forceful and tender, Untamed is both a memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It offers a piercing, electrifying examination of the restrictive expectations women are issued from birth; shows how hustling to meet those expectations leaves women feeling dissatisfied and lost; and reveals that when we quit abandoning ourselves and instead abandon the world’s expectations of us, we become women who can finally look at ourselves and recognize: There She Is.

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