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Releasing Gillian's Wolves

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  • Posted July 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

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    Gillian has been been married to Jack Sach for thirty years. Throughout most of those years Jack has been a politician, currently he is a United States Congressman representing the great state of Wisconsin. Gillian has always been the faithful, dutiful wife. Hosting parties and fundraisers, takes care of her mother-in-law, was the parent at home for their two children until they were grown. Jack, of course travels a lot due to his job, but he has never been faithful. More affairs than Gillian can count, but she always turned a blind eye, to spare her family the public spotlight and humiliation that would occur if the affairs would be made public.

    Gillian's grandfather was a very astute business man and he and his partner left their children very well off, they have a trust fund worth millions and 2 beautiful homes and property on a Northern Wisconsin lake. Edward and Gillian grew up together almost like brother and sister and they are each other's rock. Edward is openly gay, a successful photographer and in a new relationship, but has a past full of addiction and bad relationships. Gillian has ways to escape from her everyday pain. She loves to cook and garden and is a painter, she can let her despair, sadness and aggression bleed out on her canvas, but leans heavily on Edward.

    Edward's life is hitting a great path and Gillian's is about to spiral out of control. She will need him now more than ever. She is starting to worry that she will never be happy and continues to worry about the effects her actions will not only have on her, but her children, her friends and even her mother-in-law.

    I LOVED IT!!!!!

    Gillian has a heart so big and a man in her life to stupid to appreciate it. He is a man that thinks he can do no wrong and rules, vows and laws don't apply to him.

    Tara Woolpy has given us characters to fall in love with and one big character to hate. I loved it!!!!! When I started reading this book I thought it was going to be like one of my favorite television shows, The Good Wife, but Gillian blew that assumption away within the first chapters. Gillian was beaten down on the inside and hemmed in on the outside trying to do the right things for everyone but herself. When could she start living for herself not others? Ever?

    This is the second book in a week that I could not put down. Both debut novels. Unbelievable!!

    This story is excellently written, flows at a perfect pace, has fabulous settings and wonderful characters. A great piece of Woman's Fiction. While the book is nowhere near autobiographical the author knows her subject matter well. Her mother represented Northern Idaho in the state senate seven times. She works in the same academic field as Edward's new love and she currently lives in Northern Wisconsin the main setting of her story and I assume from the descriptions of other places in the book she has traveled a little bit in her lifetime.

    Tara, I know you are teaching to pay the bills but you have a great gift given to very few, you are a wonderful storyteller. I can't wait to read more of your work.

    This is a book I highly recommend. It should not be missed and you will want to read more from Tara Woolpy, I guarantee it.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CF

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    Creating second chances

    Whereas many works of women's fiction center around main characters in their twenties or thirties, Releasing Gillian's Wolves focuses on a quinquagenarian with a green thumb, artistic talent, and closet full of "Congressman's Wife" clothing. For decades, she's dealt with her philandering husband's bad behavior by painting in her studio, working in her garden, and taking care of friends and family, including the mother-in-law whom her husband routinely neglects. Jack's newest paramour, a twenty-something intern, proves to be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel's back. After thirty years of marriage, she finally makes a stand for herself.

    Unlike many tales of adultery, this one involves little in the way of broken furniture and nasty shouting matches. Instead, Gillian calmly states her terms and walks away in an admirable show of strength. We follow her along her path to healing, an international journey that includes a healed rift with an estranged daughter and a holiday in the Netherlands that is saturated in art. Releasing Gillian's Wolves is not so much about intrigue as it is about life and second chances at creating a full one.

    The storyline is, in a word, comfortable in terms of pacing and ambiance. The salacious events surrounding Jack are treated more as prop or catalysts than focal points, and while that approach suits a tale of personal growth and healing, I would have liked to have had a few more details. Even so, there is more than enough material to keep one entertained. Intimate descriptions of various food items whet the appetite, while refreshingly deep conversations stimulate the mind. Each section actually starts off with a recipe related to that part of the story, including a brownie recipe I am now eager to try.

    Releasing Gillian's Wolves is a book I'd recommend to anyone who needs renewed faith towards the women's fiction genre. It isn't light and fluffy, nor is it petulant and melodramatic; it is thoughtful, accessible, and above all, real.

    Hide and Read
    (Review copy provided by the author)

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    Politics and Love - What a combination for a book

    Releasing Gillian's Wolves - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

    "Jack, I don't care what you do, I really don't. But," I paused until I was sure of his full attention, "you might want to keep it in your pants. All deals are off if I wake some morning to find your dirty laundry all over the papers." Jack blanched, started to speak, stopped and simply nodded. He sat back in his chair and watched me in silence as I ate my dinner. He finished his drink. We were both relieved when Mark rang the doorbell. I nodded to Mark as he entered the kitchen. "Hi, make yourself at home, there's more salad in the bowl if you'd like. I'll clean up later." I turned to Jack. "Excuse me, I have work to do," and I exited out the patio door, down the steps and through the grass to the cabin. I closed the door behind me and collapsed onto the couch before I let out the first sob. The cabin air felt moist and hot, but I hugged myself close as I rocked back and forth, feeling it all crumble away.'

    Gillian Wolf Sach is married to Congressman Jack Sach. That's if you can call it a marriage. Gillian has played the part of being the "good wife" for years while Jack has played the part of being the "bad husband." It appears that if it wore a skirt and fell for his celebrity status, they were fair game for on the side activities. But when Gillian became suspicious of his affair with an aide younger than their own daughter, something clicked. In her own words "One day something, could be something unimportant that you'd usually gloss right over, something tips you over the line and things change. You might not even know it at the time, but that's when a bad marriage ends." And hers did. She promised to stay with Jack until the end of the next election but made no promises after that.

    The day after the election Gillian left to first visit her daughter and then on to Amsterdam where her long time friend Edward was now living with his significant other Sam. A trip that started as an attempt to collect herself and her feelings ended up becoming the beginning of a new life for Gillian. But when she receives word that the FBI have a warrant out for her she sees the possibility of her new life slipping through her fingers.

    It seems like there is always a political figure ending up in the news due to their extramarital activities and I've often wondered why their spouse seems to stand by them. Why not just leave, make them leave and/or divorce and get it over with. After reading Releasing Gillian's Wolves, I now have a bit more of an understanding as to why they stay. There is always that slight hope of things changing, they feel the world will see them as the cause of the failure, the list goes on and on. Gillian felt all of these but she also didn't want the publicity that her family would be put through if the real truth regarding Jack came out. And in the beginning she took the out that many, whether in the political eye or not, seem to take. Ignore it and run away. Sort of like "out of sight, out of mind." But that never works. Problems must be faced to be solved.

    When I first started reading Releasing Gillian's Wolves I had no idea as to what it was going to be about. It turned out to be a beautiful love story with a message that there can be life after love and that we all deserve to be happy. I loved it!

    Bats in the Boathouse Press
    280 pages
    ISBN# 978-0-9832033-0-8

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  • Posted May 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read

    When I received this book I was only going to read a few pages to get an idea of what it was about. I had a million things to get done in my house that day. Well one page lead to another and then another, and before I knew it I was hooked and nothing got done. I really did enjoy this book! There is such a diversity of characters that if one does not get you, another one will. All except Jillian's husband Jack. He is a Congressman, as well as a liar and a cheat. Jillian has thought for years her husband was cheating on her, and one night she decided enough was enough. She wanted a divorce and to get away. She thought she would spend the rest of her life alone. At her age love would not be hers again. But as she later finds out love does not have an age limit. Love like wine, can be sweeter with age. For me, I liked the whole story. The flow of the book I found to be interesting and it held my attention. I also like the recipes the author has shared with us.

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