Eva St. Clair's Reviews > Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
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's review
Nov 17, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: itwasgood
Recommended to Eva by: Jane St. Clair
Recommended for: soul searchers, fairy tale lovers, fearless men
Read in July, 2008

As a person who has always loved fairy tales, I read this book very slowly and carefully, enjoying every page. The author's explanations, which incorporate Jungian psychology and principles of women's intuition, enriched and deepened my appreciation for the ancient feminine and the lost art of teaching through fable, myth, and allegory.

Dr. Estes is a very effusive person, which comes across in her writing and can be at times overwhelming. She is quite incapable of using fewer than 3 synonyms stacked together with commas to explain whatever it is she's discussing. The book could have been a lot shorter with an editor, but then it would have lacked Dr. Estes' personality, which I came to appreciate with a rather grudging affection, although at first I found it too gushy.

Her somewhat romanticized view of ancient religions results in an accompanying distrust of modern Western religions, with the most unfortunate result that she often dismisses outright or simply overlooks the positive contributions the latter have had on the stories she discusses. Many myths survive because they are timeless and adaptable to the changes of culture - had she taken the time to think about how the story may have spoken to women whose faith enabled them to believe in a Western religion while clinging to the ancient folklore of their ancestors, she may have been able to elucidate yet deeper meanings within them. Stripping out the many layers of culture without examining them too closely results in an analysis that, while still signficant and meaningful as a universal trope, does a disservice to those who, in meditating on their own religion, incorporated those meditations into the wisdom of the ancients.

Overall however this book is a must-read for the soul-searching woman, and brave men who actually do want to understand "what women want" would do well to pick it up and jump fearlessly into realms where men are usually not allowed to enter.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Scott (new)

Scott Lachenmaier That was very well written. Thank you for your review

message 2: by Abby (new)

Abby Smas "... distrust of modern Western religions." Thank you for including that phrase. This book appealed to me on so many levels, but I personally see my faith as both the outgrowth and foundation of all that came before, so I would find any aspect of dismissal off-putting.
Thank you!

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