Releasing Gillian's Wolves by Tara Woolpy

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Woolpy does a beautiful job of showing us Gillian’s passion for food (as a warning this book could make you hungry) and art. Her zeal for these two things is continually brought out in each part of the book as Gillian learns to be her own person.
-Compulsion Reads

Synopsis

We frequently see women standing by their Senator/Congressman/Religious figure husbands at press conferences and wonder why they stay as their spouses admit to all sorts of bad behavior.

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 just 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. She travels to Amsterdam, meets Luke, an intriguing Dutch sculptor, and discovers it is never too late for happiness.
 

About Tara Woolpy

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Tara Woolpy’s writing career has followed a somewhat unusual trajectory. Throughout her twenties and early thirties she worked hard to learn her craft. Her formal studies included a B.A. in English Literature from Whitworth College and a post graduate year at the Women Writers Center in Cazenovia, New York. In the 1980’s she published poems and short stories in small feminist journals, freelanced for an independent Seattle newspaper and wrote the novel destined for the bottom drawer. Eventually returning to school, she earned a couple graduate degrees in aquatic science and has spent the last several years in that field, most recently as a tenured professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. As such she published peer-reviewed technical papers and book chapters and edited reams of student writing. While science writing bears little resemblance to fiction, Tara’s academic career taught her to suffer criticism comfortably and relax in front of a crowd. Now that she teaches online, she has returned to fiction. Releasing Gillian’s Wolves is far from autobiographical. However, tidbits from Tara’s personal history are woven into the novel. She imbibed campaigns and politics with her mother’s milk, her mother represented Northern Idaho in the State Senate for seven terms. She currently lives in a house very like Edward’s, works in Sam’s academic field, has survived more than one bad marriage. She has also finally found her own happy ending on a lake in Northern Wisconsin with a wonderful supportive husband and a very friendly Boston terrier.
 
Published July 1, 2011 by Bats in the Boathouse Press. 289 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction
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Reviewed by Various on Dec 21 2013

Woolpy does a beautiful job of showing us Gillian’s passion for food (as a warning this book could make you hungry) and art. Her zeal for these two things is continually brought out in each part of the book as Gillian learns to be her own person.

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