Sunday, May 22, 2011
Releasing Gillian's Wolves - Tara Woolpy
Releasing Gillian's Wolves, Tara Woolpy, Bats in the Boathouse Press, advance review copy of the paperback edition (to be released Summer, 2011)
Why do women stay in unhappy marriages? The answers are probably complicated, but perhaps even more so for political wives. As I write this, breaking news about former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is filling up my twitter feed. How timely, then, is Tara Woolpy's upcoming book: Releasing Gillian's Wolves.
Gillian Sach's husband Jack is a successful politician; she is the perfect political wife and mother. Jack is also a serial philanderer. Gillian has known about his affairs for years but has chosen to overlook them for the sake of the family. When she finds yet another hotel key in his jacket pocket, and sees the guilty look on the pretty, young staff member's face, Gillian decides she has had enough. She realizes she needs to start making some tough decisions about her future. Fortunately, she is surrounded by friends and family who love and support her on a journey of self-discovery, which takes her across the ocean and into the arms of someone who appreciates her for her true self.
Releasing Gillian's Wolves is a brisk, enjoyable read, with a satisfying romantic story and a host of supporting characters you wouldn't mind having as friends. Gillian is strong, smart, a dedicated mother and friend, and -despite being fortunate enough to have an inheritance- down to earth. Part of the fun is inhabiting Gillian's world - a lovely house on a lake, loyal (and practically perfect) friends, gardening and plenty of gourmet cooking, art, and travel to exotic locales - all of which Woolpy manages to make appealing, but not pretentious. Woolpy also works in a few complications and surprises that keep the plot interesting. Perhaps most importantly, Gillian's reflections on her life, her past and future choices, and the emotional ups and downs she experiences seem well-considered and believable.
As a reader, one can't help but root for Gillian and wish her a happy ending. The only character I thought was truly lacking was Gillian's husband, Jack. For the sake of the story, of course, we mustn't like him - and we don't actually experience much of him firsthand in the novel- but he was very one-dimensionally a jerk. But no matter - for we are happily washing that man right out of our hair.
I recommend Releasing Gillian's Wolves to fans of women's fiction as a thoughtful, romantic read.
Many thanks to author Tara Woolpy and Bats in the Boathouse Press for a complimentary advance review copy of the book. All opinions expressed are mine alone. You can find more information about the book at the Bats in the Boathouse website.