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Every Wild Heart: A Novel by Meg Donohue

Every Wild Heart: A Novel (edition 2017)

by Meg Donohue (Author)

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3712306,014 (3.57)1
Title:Every Wild Heart: A Novel
Authors:Meg Donohue (Author)
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2017), 304 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:read 2017, ebook 2017, new release 2017, California - San Francisco, women's fiction, mothers and daughters

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Every Wild Heart: A Novel by Meg Donohue



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
#FirstLine ~ The first threat didn't rattle me.

I love Donohue. I feel like she really gets what the reader wants. She writes books that capture your attention, hook your emotions and keep you up well past your bedtime. I loved Every Wild Heart. It was another original book that tackles complex family dynamics, but does so flawlessly. Her books are never forced and the genuine love of the written word is evident in the writing. Every book she writes resonates with me from start to finish. This book is not to be missed. Loved! ( )
  Mrsmommybooknerd | Apr 24, 2017 |
Gail Gideon, 40, hosts a very popular call-in radio show for women who are “mired in one of the many states of heartbreak.” Gail counsels them on the air about how to move on with their lives. As she explained:

“That’s what The Gail Gideon Show was about, after all: finding love again after the darkness of heartbreak. Not love with a man - or another woman, for that matter - but with yourself. The show was a rallying cry for the single woman, a bad-ass-platform-boot kick to the stigma of singledom. It’s never too late to reinvent yourself, I told my heartbroken listeners. It’s never too late to become the person you want to be, with or without a life partner.”

Alas, this is a lesson Gail herself has not learned.

As she struggles to figure out how to follow her heart, we also learn the story of her 14-year-old-daughter Nicola (“Nic”), who has an affinity for horses and loves to ride. As the story begins, however, she takes an unwise jump with her horse, and ends up in a brief coma.

When Nic awakes, somehow she is no longer the unsure, stuttering girl she was before. Now she feels confident, and is willing to take risks in all areas of her life.

Gail is worried about her, but Nic is following her own heart, and Gail soon comes to appreciate what that means.

Evaluation: I was not fond of the main character, Gail, who was too self-absorbed for my tastes. I didn’t see why anyone else much cared for her either. But the story is actually about the developmental journeys of both Gail and her daughter. Nic more than makes up for Gail’s lack of appeal. She is brave, kind, considerate, and all-around delightful. ( )
  nbmars | Apr 19, 2017 |
When we used to vacation in Cape Cod, after the kids were put to bed, my husband and I would listen to Delilah After Dark on the radio. People would call into Delilah, tell her a story about a lost love, a current love, anything to do with love, and request a song. It was very soothing to listen to Delilah's voice and drift off to sleep.

Meg Donhue's protagonist in Every Wild Heart, Gail Gideon known as G.G. to her many listeners, hosts a nightly radio talk show (Donohue says that Delilah was an inspiration). G.G. gained national prominence when a YouTube video of her on-air rant the day that her husband asked for a divorce went viral.

G.G. used to play music, but once people heard her rant, she became one of the most popular talk radio hosts in the country. Each night people call in to her show and she doles out advice, basically telling them if she could get over her divorce, they can make it too.

G.G. has a 14-year-old daughter, Nicole, whom she loves more than life itself. She is on good terms with her ex-husband Tyler, now happily remarried with two boys, although she still has feelings for him.

Nicole has a stutter, and that makes her reticient to speak in class. Everyday after school she goes to the stable where her horse is kept. She rides, helps clean out the stables, and is well-liked by Denny, the stable owner.

Nicole has one good friend, and no boyfriends. She is a good kid, with a strong sense of fairness. She can't abide the bullying that goes on at her private school, and wishes she could do something about it.

One day Nicole takes a terrible fall from her horse, and is knocked unconscious. After the fall, her personality changes. She becomes more daring, willing to take risks she never would have thought of trying before. This worries G.G. a great deal.

Also worrying G.G. is the fact that it appears she has a stalker, one who wishes to do her harm. G.G. goes into Mama Bear mode to protect Nicole from the stalker and her own reckless behavior.

Donohue has a way with a phrase, like these:
"I would have taken the opportunity to remind him that he adored the beast in me right up until the moment he decided he didn't."
"The strange thing about crazy people, I'd noticed in the years since my rant about Tyler had gone viral and I'd become a household name, was that they all shared a similar vocabulary, as though love could be found in a million variations, but hate was just hate, any way you slice it."

Every Wild Heart has packed a lot inside- the depth of parental love, teenagers who want freedom to make decisions but don't yet fully understand the consequences of those decisions, chasing your dreams, women trusting themselves, and opening yourself up to love.

The characters are fully drawn, and I particularly liked that the ex-husband isn't 'the bad guy', he loves his daughter and cares about his ex-wife. The story is told in the alternating voices of G.G. and Nicole, making this a great book for mothers and teenager daughters to read together.

If you are a fan of Delilah After Dark, like to ride horses, or enjoy rock'n'roll music (there's a playlist at the end of the book), you'll get an extra level of enjoyment out of Every Wild Heart. ( )
  bookchickdi | Apr 6, 2017 |
Sometimes life takes you down paths you expect and other times it takes you on detours. No matter which way you go though, you have to remain true to yourself and the things that feed your soul. Both a mother and a daughter are reminded of this lesson as they forge ahead together in Meg Donohue's newest novel, Every Wild Heart.

Gail Gideon (G.G.) is a San Francisco talk show host who hit it big when her husband left her and she ranted about it on air. Now she's a huge radio personality hosting a call-in show where she advises listeners on how to find their best, happiest life. She's an exuberant and self-assured person. Her fourteen year old daughter Nic is very much her mother's opposite in personality. She is insecure and awkward with a bit of a stutter when she's under stress. She only blossoms when she's at the stables with her beloved horse, Tru. G.G. accepts and adores Nic as she is and the two of them have a good relationship, even if Nic wants a little more freedom than her mother is entirely at ease with giving her. Aside from a potential stalker (it goes with the territory) whose threats start as slightly troubling and seem to be escalating, life is mostly comfortable for G.G. and Nic. But then Nic falls off her horse and suffers a traumatic brain injury. When she wakes from a coma, she is physically fine but her personality is different. The timidity that ruled her life before has disappeared and she's a bolder, more confident person. As Nic is suddenly less fearful, she becomes determined to save a troubled, dangerous horse everyone else has given up on. Meanwhile G.G. is having to re-evaluate her life and to focus on her own passion, opening herself up to love again and rediscovering the importance of the music she let slip out of her life.

The novel alternates between G.G. narrating in first person and sections focused on Nic being narrated in third person. The reader is given access to G.G.'s most inner thoughts and sees first hand the worries she faces about keeping her daughter safe, the concern about Nic's changed personality, the remnant of feelings she still has for her ex and the growing feelings she might have for someone new, her loyalty to those close to her, and the dawning realization that her own life has veered off the path that makes her the happiest. The third person narration of Nic's sections keeps her a little more closed off from the reader, which works to give a little distance. This distance puts the reader in the role of observer, just as G.G. is in her teenaged daughter's life. It is nice to read a novel about the mother daughter relationship that doesn't have a major conflict between mother and daughter. G.G. and Nic clash but only over the sorts of things that any loving parent and child would clash over, like Nic chafing because her mother has declared her unable to ride until the doctors clear her after her injury and wanting to be treated with more trust since she's getting older. It is in details like this that the novel absolutely rings true to life. The novel is a lovely tale of a growing and changing mother daughter relationship, two potential budding love stories, a slight, secondary mystery, and the power of following your heart, overcoming fear, and creating the life you want. This is a quick and easy read, perfect for anyone who's a little burned out on dysfunction and unhappiness. ( )
  whitreidtan | Mar 24, 2017 |
Meg Donohue's latest novel, Every Wild Heart, has just released.

Gail Gideon, known as G.G., is the host of a successful talk radio show. Her own divorce was the fuel for her nightly advice program. She's also the mom of fourteen year old Nic.

But, not everyone loves Gail's show. There will always be detractors, but one seems to be ramping up into truly dangerous territory. Is it time for a change? And then Nic suffers an horse riding accident and comes out of her coma a changed person.

Donohue explores the ever evolving mother/daughter relationship with all its moments, worries and bumps - and love. But within that dynamic, she also has each character taking a look at themselves - being true to yourself and finding your own path - at any age.

Each character has a passion. For G.G. it's music and for Nic it is horses. Donohue does a good job of making those passions believable. I really enjoyed G.G.'s choice of tunes! Romance also plays a part in Every Wild Heart for both characters - sometimes love is found in the last place you look. And sometimes what seems perfect - isn't. Gail and Nic's paths mirror each other, but at two different stages of life. I liked Gail, but found her a bit harsh and aggressive. I really liked the character of Nic - her insecurities, her joys and her kindness were all well depicted. And I'm sure most readers can identify with those turbulent high school years.

The cover is attractive and there are elements of the story present - the cowboy books and the barn board. But I would have like to have seen something that actually matched the age and description of the main two characters from the book's real timeline instead of the past.

Every Wild Heart was an easy, breezy read - perfect for this summer's beach bag ( )
  Twink | Mar 21, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062429833, Paperback)

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…

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 24 Sep 2016 17:08:23 -0400)

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