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Untamed

Written by: Glennon Doyle
Narrated by: Glennon Doyle
Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1,057 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Number one New York Times best seller

"Packed with incredible insight about what it means to be a woman today." (Reese Witherspoon)

Reese's Book Club x Hello Sunshine Book Pick

"It's an absolute joy to announce Glennon Doyle's Untamed as my April book pick. 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 woman will do in order to be loved. I swear I highlighted something in EVERY chapter. This book really spoke to me in so many ways! Thank you, Glennon, for sharing your heart and soul with us! Happy listening, everybody!" (Reese Witherspoon) 

In her most revealing and powerful memoir yet, the activist, speaker, best-selling author, “patron saint of female empowerment” (People) explores the joy and peace we discover when we stop striving to meet others' expectations and start trusting the voice deep within us. 

Untamed will liberate women - emotionally, spiritually, and physically. It is phenomenal.” (Elizabeth Gilbert, author of City of Girls and Eat Pray Love)

This is how you find yourself.

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. 

Soulful and uproarious, forceful and tender, Untamed is both an intimate memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It is the story of how one woman learned that a responsible mother is not one who slowly dies for her children, but one who shows them how to fully live. It is the story of navigating divorce, forming a new blended family, and discovering that the brokenness or wholeness of a family depends not on its structure but on each member’s ability to bring her full self to the table. And it is the story of how each of us can begin to trust ourselves enough to set boundaries, make peace with our bodies, honor our anger and heartbreak, and unleash our truest, wildest instincts so that we become women who can finally look at ourselves and say: There she is

Untamed shows us how to be brave. As Glennon insists: The braver we are, the luckier we get.

©2020 Glennon Doyle (P)2020 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“Filled with hopeful messages . . . encourag[ing] women to reject the status quo and follow their intuition. This testament to female empowerment and self-love, with an endearing coming-out story at the center, will delight readers.” (Publishers Weekly)

“She is a terrific storyteller.... Whether discussing her children or the world outside, challenging conformity, confronting misogyny, or standing up to religious bigotry, her goal as a memoirist (and as a person) is to defy expectations and to help others break out of their cultural cages so that everyone can find their own version of humanity. A bracing jolt of honesty from someone who knows what she wants to say and isn’t afraid to say it.” (Booklist starred review) 

“An emotional gut punch . . . an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency. Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.” (Kirkus Reviews

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Not what I expected

I will say that I may have a bias because Love Warrior just lit me up from the inside out. It is the benchmark to which I may be comparing Untamed to. I really wanted this to be a continuous flow from the story of her life in Love Warrior to Untamed. I had hoped she would talk more about the dissolution of her marriage, and how she learned to be alone. But she didn't have alone time, she went right from her marriage to her relationship with Abby. Abby is presented as this sort of magical presence in her life that completes her. It kind of feels unfair. It's as though her truth and her ability to be fully alive was only discovered when she laid eyes on Abby.

That's just too sing-songy for me. I yearned for the grit Doyle is known for in her writing. This book did not deliver for me in that department.

There's also a preachy feel to this book, like a blueprint on how to navigate life as a woman, but I don't want advice. I'm here for your story Glennon, I don't want you to tell me how to be, how to exist, how to be still. I don't want you to know it all and have all the answers... I want your fears and doubts and second guesses. I want that real and authentic stuff no one talks about - the stuff that scares me beyond measure.

83 people found this helpful

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Every woman needs do read this

It hasn’t been a book in a while that made me cry and laugh, learn new wisdom, recognize and define some old. A tale of one life, bravery to be who she was supposed to be. An excellent read. I mean, listen:).

5 people found this helpful

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A lightening rod

Listened to this with my family driving across the continent during the early days of the Covid19 pandemic. It kept us grounded and reminded us-we can do hard things.

5 people found this helpful

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LIFE CHANGING

This raw, beautiful, honest story about REAL life was life changing for me in so many ways. It was very cathartic! You are right Glennon we can do HARD THINGS! Thank you!

4 people found this helpful

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Phenomenal!!

One of the best books I've read in ages! Glennon's honesty, perspective and ability to convey big topics in great metaphors is astounding and refreshing. Many parts brought "knowing tears" to my eyes, and her explanations are so beautiful. She is a true artist of the written word. I will listen to it again and again...

3 people found this helpful

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I will never be the same, seriously

I can't tell you how many times I wanted to stop this book, grab something to write with or hop on the computer, and transcribe the wisdom that was imparted. there were so many times I could only talk back to the book, as if Glennon were right here next to me telling me what I already know and just don't want to put into action. There is so much of everyone else's expectations shoved into us when we are young that it is no wonder we have so much trouble finding ourselves under that pile of stuff. I am 52 years old and I am just beginning to get to that me that is in there somewhere. This book ripped some of that stuff away as if it were just cellophane and I should have seen through it all along. Thank you for this book Glennon Doyle, thank you so very much, for showing me that I am a goddamn cheetah.

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You will stop, pause and reflect

This book, incredibly written, was even more astounding being read by Glennon. You will not want to read this all at once. It will make you stop what you are doing, sit down and soak in what she just said. You’ll find yourself, coming back into being a mother fucking cheetah.

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A Joyful Ride

I liked this book because I found Glennon’s life stories to be relatable to everyone. Everyone wants to be loved and to feel in love. I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook while I rode to and from work. I really liked the part about Glennon learning how to play guitar. How did that go? Did you accomplish becoming a rockstar? I would recommend this book to anyone who wants an exciting and vulnerable read.

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Want to connect but boring

Some hooks but overall kinda boring Only a few tiny epiphanies. Not liking the choppy story format.

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Inspirational

I laughed, cried and constantly felt proud and inspired by this beautifully written piece of work. I cannot wait to read all the other masterpieces Glennon Doyle has written.

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  • Evan Kay
  • 2020-03-11

Total bummer

I was SO excited to read this! I can definitely align with the concept of feeling “overwhelmed and underwhelmed, simultaneously.” I was preparing to be inspired. Turns out, this is just a series of stories explaining why we should blame society for all of our problems. The stories would start out as eye opening, just to end up blaming society for our insecurities. There may be some truth, but it certainly isn’t inspiring. I had to stop when I got to Erika’s story. Instead of using it as an example to encourage women to go after their dreams to be happier, she blames society for trying to “control” women who want to dedicate their lives to support their husbands and children. I think the goal of this book was great. I think it could’ve been done so much better, in a much more effective way. Switching the blame from one area to another, doesn’t solve anything. I really wish I could’ve loved this.

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  • Grace Young
  • 2020-03-18

Disappointing not as describe. (& See edit added)

Disappointing and average. Not the feminine powerful enlightening book i thought it’d be. I loved most of Part One of this book. The first chapters of part one are the best ones. Yes, I did hit pause a few times during part one and thought wow. That wow is the reason I kept listening, hoping she would eventually tie it all together and provide the reader with what we are really listening for; how to get our own shine back and overcome the challenges we each face to be the purest, free, and happy version of ourselves. Unfortunately, the book never gets there. It’s just a bunch of her own personal stories that never really have an actual ending.

My interest really fell off in the chapter “Arms”. It’s a beautiful story and I’m happy you’re happy but I don’t care about it at all as a reader who thought she was going to be reading a women’s empowerment book based on the books prologue. As I was listening to that chapter I kept thinking —hm It seems like this book is more about finding love and that’s not what I’m interested in. Is this book going to end up being totally filled with overly descriptive sentences of the love she experienced? And isn’t that a little codependent that she found her happiness as soon as she found someone else?— It took someone else to make her feel alive. I don’t want to be taught that and I certainly don’t want to encourage anyone else to seek out true love in order to bring their shine back. I’m super against codependency and honestly a lot of her stories have codependent linings.

If you are married, getting a divorce, or have children, then maybe you’ll relate to this book and like it. I think this book may be better for a targeted audience of women who have or are married or have kids. Those are all responsibilities I do not personally have and am not seeking to add to my life for at least the next 6 years, so it was really hard for me to relate to her and her stories. I have been married and divorced and I did it all in my own, it was hard but I never let it break me, so when I hear her stories about her tough divorce and how it nearly broke her, Im sorry but I just can’t relate, and I roll my eyes and think you’re not the only one, suck it up and do it! It’s not as hard as you build it up in your head to be! I kept waiting for the marriage and love stuff to move on but it never does.

For me personally, I am on a self-love independent journey trying to live as peacefully as possible. I thought this book was going to be more about her as an individual finding her shine Again and influencing women to do the same, but it’s not like that. I tried looking between the lines to see what message she was trying to get out with each chapter. Sometimes I found one but if I did it was a little eye-rolling and mediocre. I thought maybe the stories would tie together at some point, maybe a huge epiphany at the end, but no. A lot of the stories don’t even have purpose, it’s just a story nothing meaningful was learned.

I think anyone, who like myself, enjoys reading self-help or inspirational books will think this book is really novice compared to many other authors that deliver a much more eye-opening, new-found-motivation, life is full of possibilities and I can create the life I want message. When I read about this book and sampled it, I thought it was going to be great and deliver the encouragement I was seeking, but it did not.

It’s almost as if this is more of a coming out and self discovery story. There’s nothing wrong with that and I’m sure a lot of women will enjoy it and relate to it, but that’s not what the books description or prologue made it out to be. Very deceiving. Overall I would not recommend to anyone.

Edit: I still stand by my first review, but I wanted to add something.

This is not a bad book. It is a good book And I like the author. It’s just not for me. I didn’t gain much NEW knowledge and tools about loving myself and being the truest version of me, but that’s because I’ve practiced mindfulness for years and have a long history with Thich Nhat Hahn books.

I am no expert, but because of my personal learning experiences and life style choices, I felt the majority of the book was BELOW my learning level. If are someone like me who is already well-versed in and practices a self-loving, mindfulness lifestyle than this book won’t be able to teach you much more than you already know.

However, there are still parts of the book that made a me say wow and write them down in my journal. It’s a memoir so it’s all her personal stories. The author explains all things meditation, self-love and discovery in a simple real-life manner, that may be HELPFUL and suitable for readers who are not attracted to traditional self-help books.

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  • Patrica Lenkov
  • 2020-03-29

Rantings on everything from art to politics.

I wanted to like this book but after a few hours of the author ranting it became impossible to listen. Doyle has something negative to say about so much. At the beginning of the book she states that her daughter is a prophet and I should have stopped listening then but wanted to see what the hype was about. What gives Doyle the authority to make unequivocal statements about life and marriage, politics, religion and even art? The statements in this book are simply her opinion and while articulate are based on nothing more than her ideas on life. To assume anything more from this book is ridiculous. Buyer beware.

85 people found this helpful

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  • Isabel Blevins
  • 2020-03-25

Awful

I hated this book. I thought it was self serving tripe. I will not read this author again.

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  • HeyJude
  • 2020-03-12

Thank you isn’t enough...

Untamed is essentially the book that teaches exactly how to undo and replace the misogynistic and racist and multifaceted discriminations we’ve all had crammed down our throats that keeps us from love and keeps us miserable in expectations-bondage. It educates you about burning them and replacing them with what is true, whole, and healthy. How we can learn and teach compassion by taking time to imagine. This book is a myth buster of epic proportions. It’s the manual on what love really looks like free of shame, stereotypes, etc etc. Thank you for Glennon Doyle — Your books free me, free others, and shows us how to set about doing the next right thing for each of us. Choose you. My next task is to set the rules for those that have permission to be on my island. (Audible review)

42 people found this helpful

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  • Meaghan Bynum
  • 2020-03-10

Wow!

This is my first Glennon book so I have nothing to compare as far as her work, but this book is really thought provoking. A lot of people won't like this book. People will say she hates men. What I see when I read this book is she's loving herself and she's trying to help and teach others to do the same. 5 stars all the way.:)

37 people found this helpful

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  • Rebekah Henthorn
  • 2020-03-11

Stunning.

I’ve been a fan of Glennon Doyle’s since her Momastery days, and watching her truly come in to her own as an artist and and author and a woman is nothing short of inspiring. This latest work is a true masterpiece. I didn’t want it to end. Her insight into love, and life, and pain, and growth, and mental illness, and addiction- it’s all just so, so good. I already ordered a hard copy of the book to go back through and highlight, but hearing her read her truth is its own kind of powerful.

34 people found this helpful

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  • Elyse Wendy
  • 2020-03-10

Already blown away!

I’ve only listened to the first few minutes and I’ve paused it three times overwhelmed with emotion and energized by your writing. Had to leave the first - pre-review. Thank you.

33 people found this helpful

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  • Anne S
  • 2020-03-12

Wowza-rooni

I couldn't stop listening because my soul needed to soak it all in.

My family design is similar to Glennon's. I walked away from my "supposed to" family toward my heartbeat love about ten years ago.

Similarly I lost everything only to gain so much more. My exhusband lives down the street and we've co-parent like studs and forged life long bonds as intentional loving people wanting love based lives.

It felt validating and like home to read your story.

I also am thankful to hear another voice who struggles with entrenched faith doctrines and real life faith loving.

Most importantly I feel energized to grow in areas of sitting still ...while a loved one grieves. Letting go of my "suggestions" of how my loving wife should live her life.

Thank you.

I AM. I AM. I AM as well.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Corinne Gaucher
  • 2020-03-11

The world will never be the same...

This is the book I’ve been waiting for my whole life. This is the book that gave me words for the fires burning within me and permission to let myself become fire. This is the book that all women from 7 to 107 will read and pass down to their daughters as required reading. This is the book that will change generations and soon enough the world.

16 people found this helpful

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  • nur kusumanindyah
  • 2020-04-30

Just amazing !!

Glennon makes me think about à lot of things! Love, beliefs, anxiety...

Truly must read !!