26 July 2011

Releasing Gillian's Wolves

You will all recognize the story - it's in the news regularly. This celebrity, that politician, this scandal, that affair. And we all think 'What a jerk!' or, perhaps 'He did good things politically, why should we care about his private life?' And what about her? Do we think 'I can't believe she is still with him.' or do we think of her at all? Releasing Gillian's Wolves by Tara Woolpy, tells her story. If you are interested in a more detailed synopsis, click here.

Tara Woolpy does a commendable job of taking us into the pain of living in an adulterous, public marriage. It is easy to judge the players from the outside but the reality inside is always more complicated than the general public gives credit. Never once did I feel like Gillian was a doormat - OK maybe before we meet her in the book she had that tendency but she's so done with that. I loved her from the get go. Ms Woolpy has made Gillian into a real woman. She has strengths and also weaknesses and insecurities. She has compassion for her friends and amazing loyalty to those she loves and she's a great cook. Thank you, Tara, for including a few recipes!!

The supporting cast in the book is strong. It is easy to seriously dislike Jack. He is the epitome of a political weasel (I know - not all politicians are weasels. But Jack is. Read it, you'll see) I did not once feel sorry for him. He deserved everything he got. And yet, even those he hurt recognized that he had positive things to offer in the political arena. I hope you are getting the idea that none of these characters are two dimensional. They have layers (like an onion or parfait, if you will)

There was only one part of the book that I really take issue with. At one point I felt that Gillian acted completely out of character. It felt almost like a scene that is thrown into a movie strictly to up the rating without any concrete connection to the plot. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't an overly explicit scene just somehow separate from the plot. Luckily this slip did not ruin the book. It remains a niggling irritation in the back of my mind and likely brought the 'rating' (if I did such things) from 5 down to 4 stars.

The best part of the whole book came at the end when the title of the book connected with the story in a beautifully romantic and visual way. Because I don't want to spoil it for you - that's all I'm going to say about that.

It is always a joy to read a novel written by a talented author. Tara Woolpy is one of the more talented authors I've read lately. Releasing Gillian's Wolves is just the beginning of, what I know, will be a long and satisfying relationship between this author and this reader!


  1. It does sound interesting, well except for that one thing that nagged you. But the rest seems good

  2. You and I read such different books. I love that we are still friends. Your reviews almost always convince me to give something I normally wouldn't a try.

  3. I know, Jenny. I'm glad you (and a few others) put up with my weird book sense.

  4. Lovely review! I hate when a character acts out of character but at least everything else was good :)


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