Every Wild Heart By: Meg Donohue | Book Review

Every Wild Heart

By: Meg Donohue
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Drama, Family
Rating: 3.5 stars
Release Date: March 14, 2017
From USA Today bestselling author Meg Donohue comes a mystery, a love story, and a mother-daughter tale about two women on a precarious journey to uncover their true selves.

Passionate and funny, radio personality Gail Gideon is a true original. Nine years ago when Gail’s husband announced that he wanted a divorce, her ensuing on-air rant propelled her local radio show into the national spotlight.

Now, “The Gail Gideon Show” is beloved by millions of single women who tune-in for her advice on the power of self-reinvention. But fame comes at a price. After all, what does a woman who has staked her career on being single do when she finds herself falling in love? And is the person who is harassing her in increasingly troubling ways a misguided fan or a true danger to Gail and her daughter, Nic?

Fourteen-year-old Nic has always felt that she pales in comparison to her vibrant, outgoing mother. Plagued by a fear of social situations, she is most comfortable at the stable where she spends her afternoons. But when a riding accident lands Nic in the hospital, she awakens from her coma changed. Suddenly, she has no fear at all and her disconcerting behavior lands her in one risky situation after another. And no one, least of all her mother, can guess what she will do next…

Book Review

From the dueling perspectives of Gail and Nic on life as a radio celebrity, and life as a high school freshman, with the majestic details of the stables and horse back riding, Every Wild Heart seems to explore the intricate changes of a mother and daughter’s relationship following a serious accident.

In the beginning, I had the feeling that the ‘drastic’ change in Nic’s character wasn’t as unforeseen or at all drastic as most seemed to perceive it. Leading up to her accident, the author does a great job of introducing slight subtleties in with Nic’s character that seemed to suggest that her real self was inside screaming to get out. In comparison to her mother’s point of view, which gives off the impression that Gail was an overprotective and too much of a hands-on-mother to realize that the ‘new’ Nic had just been underneath the surface.

It surprised me a bit to find Gail so shaken by Nic as the book went on as she draws up several instances where she too was embodiment of a stranger in her parents eyes when she was younger. Though to some extent, I do think the author’s use of first and third person that effectively created this distance from both Nic and Gail throughout the book.

I don’t have kids or anything—just my dog, Willow—so I found that I generally sided with Nic’s character, except when it came to the boy Nic was involved with. (Besides the fact that she was fourteen and he was seventeen, I just didn’t like him.) Moreover, I found Gail’s constant hovering and insistence that she was right and Nic’s newfound opinions, enlightenment, anxiety-free happiness just didn’t matter.

Although the pacing of the book was at times slow and the timeline of the narrative events seemed to be extremely short, I liked that the author gave nearly all of the characters in this book a passage of change. Besides Nic and her mother experiencing a kind of self-reflection, nearly all of the secondary characters in their orbit do as well. From the very beginning, I found myself comparing Gail to the radio personality, Delilah.

I am not sure if this was intentional or not but there was a few points in this book that made it hard not to associate the two.  This book was a pretty quick read and I think it’s pretty well suited for horse lovers, mothers and daughters. I actually have a friend who owns horses that I know would love to read this book. 🙂

About Meg Donohue

Meg Donohue is the USA Today bestselling author of How to Eat a Cupcake, All the Summer Girls, and Dog Crazy. She has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and a BA in comparative literature from Dartmouth College. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she now lives in San Francisco with her husband, three children, and dog.

Find out more about Meg at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.


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