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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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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 14 April 2016
I bought this book, because the one I had previously was stolen from me. I wanted to return to the myths and their depths so wonderfully reached by the author to help myself get in touch with my natural part of myself. That part when exposed to the everyday life in our dysfunctional cultures hides deeply to avoid pain and thanks to us women being together even through reading that book that inner part can be strengthen for benefits of all.
This book is worth to be read by men too.
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on 23 February 2010
I first bought the book in 1994, and only finished it in 2004, which felt like a great pace to read it! I'd open the book on a random page, then find that story would be perfect for my life, for maybe a good year or so. I matured and grew into a woman as i read it. Once I eventually did finish it, i then read it again, cover to cover, in about two weeks! I'd equate this book to a bible, in that way. You could read it cover to cover, but that's no more a right way to read in, then diving in randomly is. I still have my moments where I just know I need another quick peek. This book is threaded into my life.

Once you've read it, you can generally work out which other women you know have too, and if you thought they had, but they hadn't, then you know what to get them as a perfect present!
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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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on 24 July 2016
I've liked this book but I feel that readers should be warned it contains jargon from the narrative and therapeutic worlds. I'm a trainee counsellor and while I liked it and what it had to say I also felt intimidated by some of the language.
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on 16 February 2009
I had heard about this book for years, and was recently loaned a copy by a colleague, a (male) psychologist. From the first words, I saw that this is about me, what I have always believed I am and desire to be, struggle to manifest. And that can hold true for every woman in her own way. I can see I will need my own copy, it is a book to be savoured, reread, indexed, scribbled in the margins. My colleague asked today what I thought so far and I laughed. Before I said another word he gave a huge grin and said "I knew you'd like it!" Aaaah indeed!
I agree with the reviewer who was given it as an adolescent. What a comfort it would have been all my growing up and since to have had such a wise woman by my side, knowing me and me knowing I was not alone or somehow "too much" in my womanness and deep spiritual wildishness. I too will give this to my friends, my daughter, my mother. I can imagine it is also a good book to give to a lover, that he may know who you are and why. And how good that knowing can be for him too.

As to Only women who have been taught to hate themselves begin to hate men. This writer and her stories help you to love again, better, more.
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