Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Review: RELEASING GILLIAN'S WOLVES by Tara Woolpy


4 of 5 stars

Gillian Sachs is your typical stand-by-your-man political wife. Her husband, Jack, is handsome, charismatic and a real hound dog. He’s had numerous affairs during his 30-year marriage, but his campaign manager, Mark, works diligently to cover them up. Gillian prefers to ignore them all and instead drowns her sorrow in cooking. She’s a whiz in the kitchen; her cooking is legendary, and she caters all of Jack’s events. That is, until the night she comes face-to-face with Jack’s latest conquest, a young 20-something campaign worker. Time stands still for Gillian and her carefully crafted house of cards comes tumbling down. For the first time in 30 years, Gillian starts thinking and doing what’s best for her. 

Gillian moves into her cabin studio on their property and begins to dissect her life. She relies on her childhood friend, Edward and his partner, Sam to begin to understand what her next steps are; it’s essentially a 30-year coming-of-age journey. The author does an excellent job of bringing Edward and Sam to life. They are as important to the story as Gillian is and I found myself laughing out loud at some of their conversations. Gillian is a broken woman and Ms. Woolpy helps the reader feel every emotion that Gillian feels as she begins to rebuild her life. The writing pulls you in—one moment light and breezy and the next, anguished suffering. 

My only complaint with the story is all the passages describing in great detail every step of preparing some of the meals and the cooking process. While I understand that cooking is Gillian’s passion, along with her painting, I would have preferred less description in the kitchen and more passages about her thought process while painting.  It is her passion as an artist that finally saves Gillian and sends her on the path to a new life. 

RELEASING GILLIAN’S WOLVES is an excellent story of one woman’s path to personal salvation. Ms. Woolpy pulls you into the morass of Jack and Gillian in the opening pages and I happily turned page after page to find out what happened next. Recommended.

Review copy provided by the author.