2 Sentence Summary: Untamed is a memoir about Glennon Doyle’s quest for self-liberation and self-realization. It is also the tale of unexpected love. In it, Glennon Doyle describes how she fell in love with Abby Wambach and how this derailed all her plans for her life — however, she came to be herself.
Fans of Abby Wambach or self-help books or personal development books, will enjoy this one.
Summary Read Time: Less than 5 minutes
Actual Book Length: 333
First Published in: 2020
Below is the detailed yet quick summary of the book:
In the opening sequence, Doyle describes putting his daughter, Tabitha, running on a cheetah. The zookeeper insists that the cheetah has a good life at the zoo. But Doyle sees this and feels sad for the jaguar. Doyle imagines that, if asked, Cheetah would say he knows he should be grateful for the life he leads, but something is still missing and he longs to live in the wild.
In the cage, Doyle discusses the messages the girls receive about how to act, learns about Eve’s original sin, and is asked to do what is “right” or what she “should” do instead of what they want to do. Doyle also remembers telling her therapist that she fell in love with a woman. But the therapist told her that she should try oral sex on her husband if she was reluctant to have sex with him.
Key, Doyle discusses letting go of the ideas she clings to in the past to allow herself to grow and continue to grow. It is not about clinging to a new set of ideas, but accepting that life will continually give birth and rebirth of ideas. Doyle describes meeting Abby and immediately knowing it was true. She also discusses the need to imagine a new life when you let go of the person you thought it was supposed to be.
Free, Doyle describes the difficult process of deciding to leave her husband or not. She talked about letting go of the idea that she should be a martyr to her children, realizing that it was an unfair burden on them and that it was teaching them the wrong thing. Feminism is not just about altruism and giving up on one’s desires. She talks about wanting to raise her children to be brave and self-aware. She also told her mother that she was not welcome until she was ready to accept him and Abby together.
Doyle also explained his bulimia and alcoholism were both the products of her need to try to control his unhappy emotions. Then she tried to be the perfect woman and that always made her unhappy and worried. She then tried to adopt the identity of “bad and beautiful”, but this implied that she was broken and had a perfect version of herself that she “should”. Now, she is determined to accept herself as she is. She talks about her anxiety and depression and how she copes with it.
On parenting, Doyle talks about raising her daughters to be feminists, but also recognizes that she should raise her sons the same way. Boys need to be taught that they have sensitive freedoms and that they must serve their families. Doyle also encourages parents to talk to their children, even when it’s difficult. Doyle encourages children to learn how to use their “imagination” to help them empathize with others. She also argues that the children are overfed and unprotected. This generation is trying to keep kids from getting upset, when they should let them learn how to handle things.
Doyle also discussed her activism and social issues, including family separation at the border and racism. It is not enough to be active downstream. Doyle said people also need to fight “upstream” to address the policies and people who are causing these problems downstream, or at risk. complicit. She talks about her own activism and the process of learning and discovering what she thinks she knows. Doyle encourages people to use their imaginations to understand the bravery of parents who will do anything to improve their children’s lives. When it comes to racing, she says there’s a lot to learn but wants to keep working to keep fighting.
Some chapters are also dedicated to the conflict between one’s religion and sexuality. Doyle welcomes questions because unanswered questions become biased. Ultimately, people need to believe in themselves and what they know to be true instead of what they were taught to believe.