Book Review: On becoming 'Untamed'

(Image: Getty Images)
(Image: Getty Images)

What does it mean to be untamed and free? And are we ready to do the work to become our most authentic selves? These are some of the questions posed throughout Glennon Doyle’s globally renowned memoir, Untamed - now available on South Africa’s leading online store, a hub for local and international best-sellers.

Doyle uses her life experiences to show readers how she continually unchains herself from internalised biases and “norms”. Then, she powerfully points a mirror back at the reader, allowing time for self-reflection.

Her first two memoirs, Love Warrior and Carry on Warrior, depicted the author’s seemingly picture-perfect, white picket fence American family life. Untamed shatters these narratives. The book is broken into four main parts – a prologue and three defining stages of her life titled caged, keys, and free.

Throughout the book, Doyle draws on the themes of being tamed and caged.

The prologue, for instance, introduces us to a proverbial tamed, caged cheetah named “Tabitha”. Tabitha's life has become about sprinting the same obstacle course. She knows something more awaits, beyond the cages – even if the cage is the only life she’s known thus far. Tabitha’s tale sets the tone for the book’s central messages: feminism and feminine identity.

For Doyle, we learn, her “cages” were formed at around ten years old when her life began to follow a pattern of drug and eating addictions, purging — and even pulling it all together to become society’s idea of a “perfect” wife and mother.

As we follow the narrative of how she freed herself and continues to find new ways of reclaiming her “wild”, we are confronted with the question of how well we truly know ourselves.

Doyle continually implores the reader, through the lessons of her journey, to look deeper than the surface when issues arise – to know where our cages start and end, and how to dismantle them.

The story is hinged on the idea that life is a continuous learning and unlearning process, and it’s in the unlearning and listening to our gut (or inner Knowing, as Doyle dubs it), that we can truly begin to free ourselves from the chains holding us back from living our most authentic lives.

The book resonated with multiple Grammy Award-winning artist Adele, who shared one of Doyle’s key themes: a good life is a hard life. To have a good life, Doyle explains, we need to be able to endure the hardness of it all and feel it all too.

According to Doyle, to become truly free, we need to recover our inner voice above the noise. It’s like being on an airplane in an emergency: in order to help others, we need to help ourselves first.

This book is Doyle’s way of helping us, the reader, free ourselves in the same way she freed herself, and dismantled all she once considered fact.

Only one question remains: are you ready to become untamed?

You can start your journey by finding this book as well as Doyle’s former works on, to have it conveniently and safely delivered straight to your doorstep. Level up your reading game and make your untaming experience a smooth one, by checking out some of the great deals on offer, from snacks and drinks to bookmarks, reading lights and e-readers that will keep you on track even during nighttime reads.

With millions of books on offer, and many safe and easy ways to pay, including cash-on-delivery and credit card, is your go-to destination for must-have bestsellers.

This post was sponsored by Takealot and produced by BrandStudio24 for News24.
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