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4.7 out of 5 stars159
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 21 May 2007
When I turned thirteen my mum gave me a copy of this book, telling me, "This is a book that no woman should be without." I was thrilled with having a "grown-up" book, and treasured it. It took me several years to understand it enough to read beyond the wonderful stories...but then one day I started reading and it all just clicked. I couldn't put it down and it has been my constant companion ever since.

This is a beautifully written book made up of many stories, some well-known and others less so, explanations of these stories and what they can teach us about ourselves and advice on how to implement these insights for the maximum feeling of freedom and happiness in our everyday life. This book has helped me through many times when I was in need of comfort and strength and will help me through more to come.

Whether reading the stories or the interpretations of them, it is like reading pure poetry. Clarissa Estes speaks with wisdom about things that she has obviously spent her life studying and learning.

One reviewer talked about this as being a book for man-haters. I have been reading it for well over 10 years now and I never ever got that impression. I don't see why glorifying the feminine has to equal hating the masculine. For me this book is about feeling more empowered in myself as a woman, and not anything to do with the putting down of men.

I have recommended it to many friends, as well as buying it for one (who loves it as much as I do), and I am planning on giving it to more friends soon. Give yourself a treat and buy it today, it's a purchase that will last you a lifetime.
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on 15 February 2004
This is simply one of the most important and helpful books I've read. So many women today are struggling with depression, stress, or a sense of simply being unfulfilled. I know, I'm one. More and more we turn to destructive behaviours - maybe drinking, drugs, soul-destroying relationships or jobs .... or we try to be a 'good girl' at all costs. What is it that we're missing in our lives and in our hearts and souls? I looked and looked for a long time. Even modern psychology seemed to anger and depress me as so much of it is tainted with seemingly un-noticed and unchallengable patriarchy and prejudice. This book touched, thrilled and enlightened me. It doesn't patronise, it doesn't proscribe and it doesn't lump 'women' into a one-size-fits-all category as so many other Jungian based texts seem to do. It's just a starting point, of course, for reinventing and improving your life - both inner and outer life. The book won't do the work for you. But it may well present you with options, ideas and perspectives that hadn't struck you before. I'd recommend this book to all 'seekers' as well as to therapists, mothers, daughters and indeed fathers, boyfriends and husbands who want to break the cycle.
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on 10 February 2005
This is a truly beautiful work of truth that any woman can find comfort in - when i am feeling anxious i pick it up and i am put at ease and inspired to make my next move with a clearer head and heart. I have surpressed my intuition for a while now and have been suffering panic attacks and feelings of complete betrayel (to myself) and shame in the face of society's expectations for me to conform and ignore my female emotions. But this book has highlighted what i always knew: i am the only one that i should listen to. When i put it down i have a stronger heart and a quicker mind and i would recommend this book to any woman going through powerful and frightening change -this book will become your best reference for a fulfilling way forward.
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on 26 April 2009
I read this book when it first came out and have since bought it for many friends going through difficult times. I am now re-reading it, and it still has the same positive impact.
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VINE VOICEon 31 October 2009
I have read a quarter of this 500-page book, but I have to give up. It's interesting and insightful, but it's just SO densely written I found I was getting irritated, and this was cancelling out any benefit I gained. It's written in a cross between an academic and poetic style, which is interesting at first, but then you just feel like saying 'Get ON with it!' What could be said simply in one paragraph, is said in a convoluted way in 5 pages. I like poetry, but when it's coupled with academia, AND an extremely roundabout way of explaining things, it all starts to become a bit of a chore. Plus the author constantly goes over the same ground. You can read pages and pages and nothing new will have been said.

It reminded me a little of when I've tried to read books by Deepak Chopra, who I think is so enamored with his role as 'One Who Knows Things', that in his writing he will draw out every nugget of information and every insight for all it's worth. I think Estes has alot more to give than Chopra, but perhaps suffers from a similar syndrome. I lost count of the times she referred to herself as 'Cantadore' or 'Keeper of Stories'. There's a little bit of self-importance going on at times I think.

If you've got patience, or you're really committed to studying this book, you will get something out of this - it IS a good book. If not, you might end up throwing it at a wall.

PS - There is an unabridged audiobook of this, which might be a good way to absorb it.
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on 16 March 2002
This book is simply a pleasure to read. The words melt into your brain with such just can't stop turning the pages. Clarissa truly is a gifted writer. She speaks my soul, and I'm sure the soul of every woman in the world.
This book has taught me alot. About myself, my past, my soul. What really matters in this life.
The introduction was enough to convince me I needed this book!
Every chapter starts with a story/fairy/folk tale and follows with in-depth analysis; how the story mirrors a part of your soul or life that you must either face or conquer. And you'll be suprised how you can relate to each and every story!
Clarissa makes you think in ways you knew felt right, but was told were wrong. Take back your soul, your body, your heart, your creativity, your wildness and live like every woman should - A Wild Woman.
What's a Wild Woman? Buy this book, and find her within yourself. You need this book. You need Wild Woman in your life.
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on 17 March 2011
In my humble opinion one of the most profound books of all time. With the help her teachings and treasures Dr Estes allows us to unlock our feminine potential. A trully wonderful book.
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on 31 December 2012
I give it four stars because it's too academic in places and not accessible always. This book is read it at an almost subconscious level. It's about going deep into yourself as a woman, facing all the truths of being a reproductive, creative, ageing, strong, emotional person. Society has "tamed" women, and it takes a fair effort to break free.
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on 8 January 2011
A wonderful insight into the woman's soul. It drags at times though. If you can't bear the first chapter, just skip it. The real fun starts with Bluebeard.
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on 23 October 2014
Clarissa Pinkola Estes is wonderful as a story-teller and a Jungian psychologist and the profound way in which she weaves the story and it's true meaning is incredible! This should be a 'must' for all women let alone those of us who have daughters and granddaughters. I rarely, if ever want or need to read a book twice but with every page like a feast of delights and terrors, it warrants at least two or more reads. For any men who would like to understand women more fully, then this would reveal a whole new world for them as well as helping them find their true worth also.
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