Wild Woman

I am an avid reader, I read voraciously, I devour books. Fact or fiction if I set out to read a book I need to absorb the information/story as quickly as possible, get outside it. One downside of this is that often I remember something I have read, and possibly which book I read it in but, particularly in the case of non-fiction, I haven’t a clue where exactly I read it; a bit of a nuisance if I want to find it again. Usually  if I start a book I finish it, there are very few books that I have abandoned part-way through.

Cover 'Women Who Run With The Wolves'Several years ago I came across a copy of ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola  Estes in a local charity shop. Now I had heard about this book with its glowing reviews, tributes and so on – I quote The Times: “…undoubtedly one of the most widely acclaimed and most influential books of recent years.”  The  Irish Times states “This book offers a life-enhancing way to make contact with our deep feminine instincts: the wild woman within.” In fact, due to its reputation, it was on my ‘to read’ list, so I bought the book.

I began to read it in my usual fashion, trying to get all the information inside me as quickly as possible. I got as far as page 54, roughly the middle of chapter 2, put it down one day and didn’t pick it up again. I found it long-winded, unnecessarily verbose, (why use only 10 words when 100 would do?) and at times boring. It seemed to speak the obvious and laboured each point to exhaustion. Certainly no page-turner.

Since then I have glanced at it on my bookshelf several times and thought I might give it another go. I decided that perhaps the way I read was at fault, since others praised it so highly. So about a month ago a began again. I decided this time to take it more slowly and intersperse it with other light reading that I could race through in my usual fashion.

It seems to be working, I have now got to page 197, the beginning of chapter 7. I am still finding it tedious, laboured and unnecessarily verbose but I am making progress – or was, I haven’t actually picked it up for several days now but I am reading an exciting Fantasy tale. Will I continue with it? Well I am enjoying the folk tales within the book, some of which I have never come across before, and there are a few interesting points made in interpreting them, even if I do still think it frequently states the obvious (at least to me) so I don’t know. I would like to finish it this time, even if only as some sort of challenge!

This isn’t intended to be a book review as I haven’t finished reading it yet.  I’m  just saying how the book seems to me. Is it just me? Am I missing something?  It would be interesting to know what other ‘ordinary people’ like me think of it.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. julespaige
    Apr 25, 2016 @ 11:16:33

    I have not read the book. I used to think I had to finish ever book through. But I don’t have time for that. I want to read that which I enjoy, inspires and that isn’t necessarily what is on the top ten best seller list.

    I hope you at least enjoy your challenge of finishing the book. But it seems to me that even your ‘non-review’ is the highlight of the book. Cheers.


  2. Pia
    Apr 25, 2016 @ 12:30:37

    I had quite a few aha moments with it, so I don’t actually remember if I liked the writing style, because I enjoyed the experience. I’m excellent at skimming superflouous info though…. I liked it enough that I bought another of her books and THAT otoh is utter bullocks and chitchat. Boooooring… I can’t even be bothered to retrieve it from under the bed to give you the title, it’s about Madonnas.


    • Libby
      Apr 27, 2016 @ 09:43:34

      I’m glad I am not quite alone with my opinions! I’m also quite good a skinning but didn’t want to ‘miss’ anything that might be relevant. May be I’ll pick and chose which bits I read from here on! 🙂


  3. Cynthia Jobin
    Apr 28, 2016 @ 19:35:29

    I’ve enjoyed this, Libby, and am in agreement with you about that particular book. Now that I am past the “three score and ten” mark, I find that I don’t read currently popular fiction anymore. Like you, I want to finish a book I start, so I don’t even start things that I am pretty sure won’t enrich my life in any way. (what may be new and interesting to a younger person is old hat to me, very often.) I enjoy good language and rich writing, but most of all I like to connect with the author, someone whose mind and imagination I like getting to know by reading what they write, whether it’s story or essay or poem. I rarely read reviews and just let one book lead me to the next…which (aside from falling mysteriously off a library or bookstore shelf) always has me with interesting things to read.


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