Thursday, June 16, 2011

Review: Releasing Gillan's Wolves by Tara Woolpy

First line: The moon drew a rippling arrow across the surface of the lake, exposing Edward and Sam making love on the dock.

Why I read it: The author contacted me to read and review the book - it is her debut novel.

From the back cover: The wife of an adulterous politician must choose between the safety of denial and a new life in the light.

Thirty years ago, Gillian married Jack Sach, now a United States Congressman. Through the years she's remained faithful. He hasn't. Ever. She cooks to soothe herself and others, takes care of her mother-in-law, gardens, sneaks off to the studio to explode with angry paintings and tries to keep Jack's dalliances secret. As she nears fifty, her friends think she should leave, but she lingers, bound by inertia and fear of the effect media coverage of a divorce would have on her family.

Gillian shares a trust fund with Edward, her gay neighbor and best friend. Their grandfathers made a fortune together and left it to the two of them. Over the years, in support of Gillian's marriage, the trust bankrolled Jack's many successful campaigns. Not particularly interested in politics, Gillian survives by ignoring everything outside her kitchen, garden and studio. Edward has his own ragged past filled with bad relationships, drugs and alcohol. Through the course of a summer, Gillian's marriage continues to deteriorate while Edward's life finally starts to improve. He's sober, stable and has found life-changing love with Sam, a biology professor at the local university. Their happiness shines a stark light on Gillian's loveless marriage.

Finally, when Gillian meets Jack's latest conquest, twenty-year-old Ashley, she's forced to confront the rot at the core of her relationship. Is it too late for happiness?

My thoughts: I enjoyed this debut novel by Tara Woolpy. It is a fast-moving book about rediscovering your priorities in life. Gillian has been dealing with Jack's infidelities for years now, but has finally reached her limit. The problem is that Jack is in the political arena and therefore her life, along with her family's, is always in the spotlight. Does she want to be the talk of the town? Deciding to take a break, she decides to take some time for herself, traveling abroad and meeting new people and finding her artistic drive again. With a new romance on the horizon and a few surprises thrown in, the plot moves quickly. The supporting cast of characters are all likable, with the exception of Jack, who is nothing but a sleazeball! I was captivated by the story, especially the love story that Gillian finds on her travels, and absolutely loved the recipes included! I will definitely be trying out the Survive Anything Double-Chocolate Brownies - right up my chocoholic alley!!! I hope to see more from author Tara Woolpy.

I received a complementary copy of Releasing Gillian's Wolves by Tara Woolpy by the author to review.


  1. Sounds like a nice read (and that recipe sounds really great)!

  2. @Bonnie I'm hoping to try them this weekend!


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