An engaging story of a mother, divorcee, dancer, poet and student looking to find peace.

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LYNN AND JOE

PECULIAR TRAVEL SUGGESTIONS

A woman’s memoir of her journey from bad marriages to independence and love.

This debut follows a free-spirited mother looking for freedom and a fulfilling love life in a male-dominated society. In May 1977, Lynn finds herself in her third crumbling marriage, this time to an abusive, possessive man named Paolo. Her sons from previous marriages live with their fathers due to Paolo’s strict ways and Lynn’s inability to provide a comfortable life for them. After supporting Paolo through school during their seven-year marriage, Lynn finally pursues her passion as a drama major at the University of California, Berkeley. While Lynn fights for custody of their 6-year-old daughter and struggles to reclaim her old Victorian house, she’s forced to drop out of school. Lynn’s drama studies spark her interest in females of Greek mythology and make her analyze her own life in 1960s and ’70s California. Lynn wants to live her life without a man, but it would take spiritual and emotional work. Her poetry and meditation sustain her, but her need to pay for her divorce from Paolo forces her to work as an exotic dancer at the Garden of Eden. Lynn takes Marika to visit her friend in Bodega Bay, Calif., where they experience a simpler life camping out in a van near the beach. Eventually, Lynn, in desperation, moves in with her mother and stepfather near Berkeley and gets a job at a paint store, where she meets a drummer/painter named Joe. She slowly learns that time and patience can yield a relationship with a man that isn’t built on lust or financial need. The author’s prose is lyrical and philosophical, exploring lessons she learned from Greek dramas and the feminist teachings of poets and activists in 1970s Berkeley. Her experience as a poet shines through: “Dance and song and poems began to flow into the river of suppressed tears that began first as a trickle and merged into tumbling rapids. This was not pain or joy; it was the unnamed sensation of commitment to my own inner truth.” The author continuously describes the spiritual experiences that allowed her to release her anger and frustration. Overall, the book is a resonant portrayal of one woman’s experience in the ’60s and ’70s.

An engaging story of a mother, divorcee, dancer, poet and student looking to find peace.

Pub Date: May 17, 2013

ISBN: 978-1482656923

Page Count: 538

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2013

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is 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.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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