Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach in article about book Untamed

‘Untamed’ Empowers Readers To Thrive in Their ‘Brutiful’ Lives

Glennon Doyle’s recent release has topped bestsellers lists and has inspired fans everywhere to listen to their gut instincts, follow their hearts and, most importantly, overcome anything.

With her infectious personality and genuineness, Glennon Doyle, the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of the recent 2020 release “Untamed,” has attracted a dedicated fanbase with a wide age span that encompasses boomers, millennials and Gen Zers alike. In total, Doyle has amassed an impressive number of followers —1.6 million on Instagram, 237,700 on Twitter and 908,000 on Facebook, to be exact.

Doyle’s Previous Accomplishments

“Untamed” is only Doyle’s latest accomplishment. The author started off her career in 2009 as a blogger via her website Momastery.com. She instantly grew her fanbase as she wrote about relatable issues: most notably, motherhood, parenting and religion.

Doyle attracted an even bigger fanbase with her 2013 TED Talk, “Lessons from the Mental Hospital,” where she gained footing as a public speaker. Her TED Talk explores what she defines as a “brutiful life” — a life that “is equal parts beautiful and brutal” in relation to marriage, motherhood, faith, addiction and recovery. After her memoir releases, Doyle made public speeches a regular part of her day-to-day life, speaking to fans and readers across the country.

In literary terms, “Untamed” isn’t Doyle’s first rodeo. Doyle is a well-acclaimed memoirist, with two previous bestsellers: “Carry On, Warrior” and “Love Warrior.” Doyle’s 2014 release, “Carry On, Warrior” is a manifesto about self-love, urging women everywhere to “let go of the idea of perfection and to stop making motherhood, marriage and friendship harder by pretending they’re not hard.” It grapples with Doyle’s emergence from addiction and her utter resilience in the face of incredible challenges.

“Love Warrior,” released in 2016, follows suit with Doyle’s first bestseller, as it traverses her prior struggles as well as her husband’s “addictions to pornography and sex with strangers.” Uncoincidentally, “Untamed” is the third memoir of a unified series that follows the newest stage in Doyle’s life: falling in love with a woman.


From the first sentence of “Untamed” — “Four years ago, married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman” — we get an inkling of what this memoir is going to be about. Along with newfound love, in “Untamed,” Doyle also explores the raw topics of friendship, feminism, body image, her personal efforts to better understand racism as a white woman, her faith, her experience with parenting and, with the help of a cheetah metaphor, freedom.

The central thread of “Untamed,” though, undeniably revolves around Doyle falling for Abby Wambach, a Women’s World Cup soccer champion and Olympic gold medalist. Ironically, Doyle and Wambach met when Doyle was marketing her memoir “Love Warrior,” which essentially outlined Doyle and her then-husband Craig Melton’s recommitment to their marriage after he confessed to cheating on her multiple times.

As Wambach told The New York Times in an interview: “We couldn’t have been a worse fit for each other. Glennon had a husband and three children and lived in Naples, Florida. I’d been sober for a month, my marriage was falling apart, I’d just left my soccer career of 30 years and I lived in Portland, Oregon.” Even so, something special had already sprouted between the two women that Wambach and Doyle could just not let go.

As Doyle writes in “Untamed,” when she first saw Wambach, her “whole being” just said: “There She Is.” Doyle, in true Doyle fashion, asked Wambach for a hug upon their initial meeting. Doyle, in beautiful prose, wrote that Wambach’s smell would “become home to [her] — skin like powder and fabric softener blended with the wool of her coat and her cologne and something that smelled like air, like outdoors, like crisp sky, like a baby and a woman and a man and the whole world.”

“Untamed” is a beautiful, real love story with, as The New York Times article “A Third Glennon Doyle Memoir? Yes, and Here’s Why” detailed, a “happy ending.” In “Untamed,” Doyle doesn’t shy away from writing about the difficulties in obtaining her love story with Wambach. She details how the divorce from her husband affected her children, but she acknowledges that parenting by example is also important; how can you parent well if you yourself are miserable? Doyle bravely leaves her husband for Wambach, acknowledging and dealing with the societal repercussions — namely, her mother’s disapproval and the loss of some of her fans. The gains, however, far outweighed the struggles.

Happy Endings

Today, Wambach and Melton both play active roles in Doyle’s children’s lives — they’ve even played on the same adult-league soccer team together. Wambach called Melton’s support of Doyle and Wambach’s marriage as well as his relationship with Doyle and his children “a gift I don’t know if I can repay — probably the most selfless act of grace or love I’ve ever experienced.” In addition to this familial acceptance and newfound, unbounded love, Doyle is more popular than ever, with 2 million copies of her newest release “Untamed” lining the bookshelves of readers everywhere. I’d call that a happy ending.

Besides detailing Doyle’s life experiences, “Untamed” also has the magical ability to prove revelational and inspirational to readers everywhere. Doyle shows us that following our intuition, our heart and that little voice inside of us is demanding, but that this hard work pays off. In other words, Doyle highlights how following our gut instinct — once we train ourselves to listen to it — often leads to great things and a bountiful future.

It’s not always easy to listen to our inner guru, just as it’s not always easy to do hard things. As Doyle wrote in “Untamed,” “being human is not hard because you’re doing it wrong, it’s hard because you’re doing it right.” Despite life’s “brutiful” nature, though, we have the power to embrace it all with our strength, our resilience and our hearts’ intuition. Doyle urges us to recognize and welcome “brutifulness” while also accepting ourselves and our true natures.

Doyle’s Not Done Yet

Doyle, a true busy bee, has been preoccupied with spreading her voice and her messages to the masses. She has accomplished this in two different ways. First, Doyle’s newfound inspirational podcast, “We Can Do Hard Things,” debuted on May 11. This podcast is a space for Doyle to share her stories and advice with listeners everywhere, giving her public speaking a more accessible feel. As the caption for the podcast noted: “We will drop the fake and talk honestly about the hard. Life is hard. Let’s do it together.” This podcast will be a raw and genuine space to chat about the hard things — and how we have the power and resilience to tackle them.

Secondly, “Untamed: The Journal” is available for preorder. Debuting on Nov. 16, the journal will allow readers and fans everywhere to “quit pleasing” others and “start living.” In other words, it’s a guided journal for readers themselves to realize how they can grow and live the life they have always wanted to, just like Doyle did in “Untamed.”

Keep your eyes peeled for more from Glennon Doyle, a lively and revolutionary woman with a desire to change the world — she won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

Alexa Katherine Will, University of Pittsburgh

Writer Profile

Alexa Katherine Will

University of Pittsburgh
English Literature and English Writing

I’m Alexa Will, a passionate bookworm who’s always bursting with energy. I hardcore vibe with the bands Vampire Weekend and Hippocampus, and making art and writing bring me so much joy.

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