I really need to get better about reading the synopses of books before I pick them up. Then again, I’d probably miss out on so many great books that I just love the titles of. This is my last Read Harder book of the year, for task 20, a book with a cover you hate. It’s not that the cover is necessarily the worst, but it does nothing at all to convey the topic or entice the reader. Of course, it’s more of a textbook than I had originally thought it was and that might have to do with it, but the title is so compelling.
Contrary to my original ideas of what the book contained, this is laid out as sort of a long lecture on getting back in touch with being a wild woman and the stories or fairy tales that we are familiar with that exemplify the wild woman. The audiobook is just over two hours long and really quite fascinating. I had never thought about the wild woman archetype, but it has a lot to do with so many of my favorite characters throughout my life. Estes makes sense of that thing so many of us seem to be missing.
For me it happened I leaned into feminism and started to shake off the expectations that I didn’t care for. I had started to rebel against makeup, which I’ve always hated to wear but absolutely don’t judge, and started to call people out on sexism and racism. My efforts are small and usually layered in anxiety but it’s gotten easier over the years and I’m finding my own voice in it. This was my discovery of the wild woman Estes speaks of. Of course, my husband would say that I was always a wild woman and few people that I knew before all that would disagree with him.
As with so many books about women, this won’t resonate with everyone and there are probably many who will hate it at first but grow to love it. Estes does a great job of capturing and explaining that thing that is robbed of us when we are forced into roles that don’t fit our personalities and ambitions. This is, of course, different from those who are predisposed to actually liking the things that we are told we all like without exception. I have a ton of “typically female” likes and habits, but not everything. No mold really fits everyone and this book invites us to not make ourselves fit into the places where we don’t and still love the places were we do. It’s definitely a book that is going into my rereads list because I want to absorb more of it. I borrowed this copy from my library, but Goodreads has plenty of options for places to buy. Add it here for later.