Book Review: Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle

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In Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle tells the story of a woman who struggles with addiction, disordered eating, and betrayal. 

Through facing and ultimately embracing her vulnerabilities, she learns to live authentically and discovers the transformative power of pain. This book is a powerful exploration of self-acceptance and resilience.

This book review provides an overview of everything you can learn from it.

Let’s get started without further ado.

Key Insights

Lesson 1: The road to redemption starts at rock bottom.

As a young college graduate in her twenties, Glennon finds herself battling alcohol abuse, financial instability, and a mounting debt, which includes a DUI charge. It’s evident that she needs help when she shows up at her parents’ house, looking disheveled and still wearing her outfit from the night before.

Her parents, concerned about her well-being, stage an intervention to address her downward spiral. Reflecting on her life, Glennon recalls her happy childhood where she was known for her confidence, eloquence, and beauty. From a young age, she learned the importance society places on appearance, and this would later shape her self-image and choices.

As a preteen, Glennon’s confidence waned as she compared her body to her slender sister and cousins. Despite her beauty, she felt insecure and began hiding her body at family events. By age 13, she developed bulimia, bingeing and purging to maintain a thin figure. This would be a persistent challenge for Glennon, even after a hospital stay in her senior year to treat her eating disorder.

High school norms and expectations dictated that girls should be thin and bland, and Glennon complied, driven by her bulimia. In college, she joined a sorority where these expectations became even more explicit. Glennon’s popularity was often tied to her appearance and perceived sexual availability.

Seeking relief from the pressure, Glennon turned to alcohol, which also contributed to her restless sleep and continued thinness. As she tried to fit in, she adopted the expected behavior and appearance. After college, Glennon struggled to break free from these unhealthy habits. She began dating Craig, a stable and kind man from her high school days. Unfortunately, her bulimia and alcoholism only intensified, leading to an abortion early in their relationship.

Her parents’ intervention, led by a local priest, offers a temporary respite from her downward spiral. However, six months later, Glennon becomes pregnant again. Still grappling with addiction and instability, the pregnancy feels more like a burden than a blessing.

Despite her struggles, Glennon eventually manages to turn her life around. She becomes sober and marries, giving hope that her situation is on the mend.

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Lesson 2: Enduring pain to attain perfection.

As a young girl, Glennon struggled to fit in and grappled with the pressure to maintain a certain body image. This led her to turn to bulimia as a means to take up less space and feel accepted.

Over time, Glennon realized that being thin wasn’t the only requirement for being a “good girl.” She started observing popular girls and imitated their behaviors, presenting herself with just the right amount of confidence to blend in. However, her journey was not without setbacks and obstacles, as she navigated the confusing and sometimes harmful messages about relationships and self-worth.

One of these harmful lessons came when Glennon heard about a popular boy rumored to have raped a girl in high school. Instead of believing the girl, the message she internalized was that it was more important to keep popular boys happy. Glennon became adept at playing the role of the popular girl, donning a metaphorical mask and cape to blend in with her peers.

But Glennon knew deep down that she was not being true to herself. When her facade crumbled during her senior year, she was hospitalized for mental health reasons, sharing a room with another girl who was also being treated for an eating disorder. Glennon saw that they had both gone to extreme lengths to project images of beauty, confidence, or competence, all at the expense of their own well-being.

This realization marked the beginning of Glennon’s fall to what she describes as the “bathroom floor of life.” She became acutely aware that hiding her true self was causing immense suffering to her and those around her.

Yet, it was difficult for her to let go of the coping mechanisms she had developed over the years, such as bulimia and alcoholism. These behaviors served as a shield that protected her from confronting her issues and allowed her to hide behind a carefully crafted mask.

The problem with hiding places, Glennon discovered, is that they don’t allow room for others. While she recognized the damage she was causing, simply understanding it wasn’t enough. Throughout her teenage years, college, and early adulthood, Glennon knew that she was suppressing her true self and causing pain to herself and those who cared for her.

Lesson 3: Rekindling love amidst parenthood.

The arrival of Glennon Doyle’s first child, Chase, brought her immense happiness and a newfound sense of purpose. Glennon and Craig, her husband, both found great joy in caring for their little one, forming a beautiful family bond. However, this newfound happiness couldn’t mask the underlying issues in their marriage, prompting Glennon to question if a happily ever after was possible for them.

Growing up, Glennon was captivated by Disney movies that portrayed a perfect and idyllic love story. This influenced her desire for a marriage built on devotion and deep emotional connection. Although she was able to establish this kind of connection with her sister and closest friends through open communication and vulnerability, she struggled to find the same connection with her husband, Craig.

Craig, on the other hand, expressed love through physical touch and affection. For Glennon, this made sex a complicated matter due to her past experiences with substance abuse and seeking validation from men. Despite their differing love languages, Glennon and Craig were determined to save their marriage and decided to schedule weekly date nights to rekindle their connection and chemistry.

Unfortunately, their attempts to reconnect took an unexpected turn when Craig shared a collection of old VHS tapes containing both football matches and pornography. Glennon felt deeply uncomfortable with this, thinking about the women on the tapes as someone’s daughters. They engaged in sex after watching the tapes, but Glennon was left with a feeling of regret the following day. At her request, Craig disposed of the pornography.

As time passed, Glennon and Craig shifted their focus from working on their relationship to prioritizing their roles as parents. They went on to have two more daughters, Patricia and Amanda, in addition to their son Chase. While they struggled to maintain a loving relationship between themselves, they were unwavering in their devotion to their children.

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Lesson 4: Being vulnerable and sharing our true selves can lead to self-discovery and healing.

As she navigates the complexities of motherhood and relationships, she confronts the challenges brought on by societal pressures and her own internal struggles.

Being a mother brings Glennon great joy, but she also faces unexpected challenges that she realizes stem from her inability to be honest with herself and others. Her husband Craig’s indifference to her attempts at expressing her feelings further exacerbates her sense of isolation. Society expects mothers to maintain an air of calm and composure, which leaves Glennon feeling off balance when the demands of parenting become overwhelming.

With Craig working long hours, Glennon assumes the role of a full-time mom, which elicits a mix of emotions. While she is often overwhelmed by love for her children, she also feels exhausted and craves a break from being constantly needed. Yet, when Craig asks about her day, she simply replies with “fine” instead of sharing her genuine feelings.

In social settings, Glennon engages in pleasantries with other new mothers, but she secretly yearns to know if they share her feelings of anger and loss. These emotions are not uncommon for new mothers, but admitting to them is considered taboo.

One day, Glennon comes across a “25 things about me” list on Facebook and decides to create her own, aiming for complete honesty. As she writes, she uncovers and confronts her deepest truths. When she shares her list, which includes her struggles with bulimia and alcoholism, she is surprised to see it go viral among her friends and their connections.

Feeling empowered by this newfound honesty, Glennon starts writing early in the morning to document her thoughts and experiences. She shares her writing on a blog, finally feeling like she is genuinely expressing herself.

Lesson 5: Challenges can be blessings in disguise, prompting growth and self-discovery.

As Glennon battles exhaustion and pain, her husband Craig suggests trying the humid, tropical air of Naples, Florida as a remedy. Miraculously, Glennon recovers, and the family decides to make Naples their new home. It seems like the fresh start Glennon has been searching for, but life is never that simple.

Although Glennon’s health has improved, her marriage remains in turmoil. She discovers that Craig has been secretly accessing pornography on his laptop, breaking a promise he made to never bring porn into their relationship again. This betrayal is compounded when, during a marriage counseling session, Craig admits to being unfaithful multiple times, even before their wedding. Glennon is left reeling, questioning whether Craig’s behavior was the true issue in their marriage, rather than her own struggles with sex and intimacy.

With Craig moving out temporarily, Glennon is left to juggle the responsibilities of motherhood and her career as a successful blogger. Despite the emotional turmoil, she must keep up appearances for the sake of her children. When asked how she is doing, Glennon replies, “Great,” even as she privately collapses from the weight of her pain.

It is in this moment of vulnerability that Glennon revisits the same bathroom floor where she once discovered she was pregnant with her son, Chase. At that time, she believed marriage and motherhood would be the answer to her struggles with bulimia and alcoholism. Now, faced with the unraveling of her marriage, she wonders what it will take to rise again.

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Lesson 6: Rising from rock bottom and trusting your inner voice.

Glennon found herself on the bathroom floor, struggling with questions she cannot answer. To cope, she creates two lists on her laptop: “Questions I Can’t Answer Yet” and a second list of questions she can answer. The last item on the second list is “Have I survived Rock Bottom before?” to which she replies, “Yes.”

Glennon’s realization that the word “disaster” comes from “dis” (without) and “astron” (stars) suggests that disasters occur when we lose sight of the light. To regain her footing, Glennon creates one more list: “What I Know.” The last item on this list is “Just keep doing the next right thing, one step at a time.” This mantra becomes her guiding principle, starting with going to bed with the intention of waking up and making breakfast.

To rise from her rock bottom, Glennon learns to listen to her inner voice rather than external opinions, which often offer superficial solutions or blame her for her marriage’s problems. She takes the time to reconnect with her inner voice, which she had long ignored.

As Glennon grapples with the decision to reconcile with her husband, Craig, she finds her inner voice conflicted. Despite the progress Craig has made through therapy, volunteering, and supporting their family, Glennon is hesitant about letting him back into her life. A family therapist advises her that the children need certainty, whether that means divorce or reconciliation.

Ultimately, Glennon decides to give her relationship with Craig another chance. However, she feels uneasy, as her inner voice has not explicitly guided her to this decision. This underscores the importance of trusting our inner voice, even when it seems uncertain.

Lesson 7: Self-connection is necessary for meaningful connections with others.

Glennon finds herself struggling with feelings of frustration, betrayal, and unsafety following her husband Craig’s return home. Rather than suppressing her emotions, she seeks therapy with a counselor named Ann.

Instead of focusing on Glennon’s marriage, Ann delves into her past. Glennon comes to understand that her story truly begins when she was ten years old, grappling with body image issues and the challenges of puberty. This realization is pivotal as she starts addressing her internal conflicts and reconnecting with herself.

Both Glennon and Craig had prioritized their physical selves over their emotional needs. Glennon’s struggle with bulimia symbolized her internal conflict, while Craig’s background as an athlete and model led him to express love primarily through his body. In their relationship, neither of them were truly present as whole individuals.

As Glennon works on healing the rift between her mind and body, she begins practicing yoga, paying attention to her appetite, and speaking her mind. By allowing herself to eat whatever she wants and saying no when necessary, she starts to remove the mask she had been hiding behind.

Craig suggests “practice talking” as a way for the couple to communicate better mentally and physically. He takes Glennon on dates, actively listening to her thoughts and feelings. Together, they join an inclusive and diverse church where they learn about God’s fierce and unconditional love, helping Glennon to embrace this belief.

As a result, their sexual relationship transforms from a mere physical exchange or a desperate misunderstanding into an authentic expression of love. Eventually, Glennon and Craig renew their vows to each other on a beach in Mexico. While they acknowledge that this is not a fresh start, they understand the value in their commitment.

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Lesson 8: Don’t avoid your pain, instead, recognize it and gain wisdom from it.

When Glennon Doyle began attending hot yoga classes as a part of her reconciliation journey with her husband Craig, she didn’t anticipate the life lesson she would learn in the process. In one class, the instructor asked students to set an intention for their practice. Feeling intimidated, Glennon decided her intention would be to remain on her mat, regardless of what others were doing.

As Glennon confronted painful memories and emotions she had been avoiding, she found herself wanting to escape. Despite feeling overwhelmed, she persisted, staying on her mat until the end of the class. Her yoga teacher later explained that Glennon had just experienced the Warrior’s Journey.

Glennon has faced numerous challenges in her life, from disordered eating and addiction to infidelity. Through these struggles, she has survived, and even thrived, repeatedly proving her resilience. Sitting on her yoga mat, she recognized that facing her pain required courage but also offered liberation. She realized that we must confront our pain before we can fully embrace happiness, relationships, and love.

In today’s society, we are often encouraged to suppress painful emotions and pretend everything is “fine.” We are told that pain needs fixing and offered various means to alleviate it, such as consumerism, wealth, sex, or professional success. However, pushing away pain doesn’t eliminate it; instead, it often gets transferred to those around us.

As Glennon started addressing her pain, she began to see it as an invitation rather than a problem. This shift in perspective allowed her to acknowledge the valuable lessons her pain had taught her. She understood that a true warrior embraces their pain, unafraid to confront it head-on and share it with the world.

While Glennon hasn’t entirely mastered her pain, she knows that she may face it again in the future. However, she is prepared to confront it with courage and strength when it arises. By sharing her Warrior’s Journey, Glennon encourages us all to face our pain and embrace the potential for growth that it offers.

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1. Relatable and Refreshingly Honest

One of the most powerful aspects of “Love Warrior” is the way Glennon Doyle writes about her life with brutal honesty and vulnerability. She doesn’t shy away from discussing her struggles with body image, relationships, and finding her true self. This relatable narrative allows readers to connect with her story and see themselves in her journey, making it a captivating and eye-opening read.

Readers from all walks of life can find comfort in the fact that they are not alone in their struggles and that there is hope for growth and healing. As the author shares her insights on love and intimacy, readers are encouraged to unlearn societal expectations and embrace open hearts and open minds.

2. Transcending Gender and Encouraging Open Conversations

“Love Warrior” transcends gender boundaries in its exploration of relationships and communication, making it a relevant and powerful read for anyone, regardless of their relationship status. Doyle’s raw descriptions of her experiences with body image issues and societal pressures help readers better understand the experiences of others and highlight the importance of having open and candid conversations about these topics.

In particular, the book addresses the concept of “The Representative” – the facade we put up to be accepted and loved by others. Doyle’s exploration of this idea resonates with many readers, who may have found themselves compromising their authenticity for the sake of acceptance.

3. Challenging Traditional Relationship Wisdom

While “Love Warrior” is a personal memoir, it offers valuable insights and wisdom that challenge conventional relationship advice from so-called “experts.” The book does not claim to have all the answers, but it does provide a human and relatable perspective on love, relationships, and self-discovery.

Doyle’s writing encourages readers to reevaluate their own understanding of love and intimacy and promotes the idea of a sisterhood that supports and uplifts one another. The book serves as a reminder that we all have the capacity for growth, healing, and deep connection with others.


1. Repetitive Content

While Glennon Doyle’s Love Warrior covers various aspects of her life, including addiction, marriage, Christianity, and motherhood, some readers might find the book repetitive. Many parts of the book revolve around her struggle with addiction, and after a while, it may feel like too much emphasis is placed on this aspect of her life. Although understanding her addiction is essential, the constant reminders may become tiresome for some readers.

2. Overly Intimate Details

Love Warrior is an incredibly intimate memoir, detailing Glennon’s self-discovery journey through the disintegration of her marriage due to her husband’s infidelity. While sharing such personal experiences can be cathartic and helpful for some readers, others might find the level of detail to be excessive and unnecessary.

For example, the graphic descriptions of her first sexual encounter with her husband after discovering his infidelity may make some readers uncomfortable. Though this level of intimacy might be helpful for those in similar situations, it might not be suitable for everyone.

3. Controversial Views on Christianity

As a practicing Christian, Glennon Doyle discusses her faith and beliefs in Love Warrior. However, some readers may take issue with the way she refers to Christianity and God. Certain parts of the book seem to go against core Christian values and beliefs, potentially causing discomfort or disagreement among Christian readers. While the author’s personal faith journey is essential to her story, some might feel that her views clash with traditional Christian teachings.


Love Warrior is a powerful and transformative memoir that has resonated deeply with me on a personal level. As someone who has been on a journey of spiritual rediscovery, I found the insights and wisdom shared in this book to be incredibly valuable.

Glennon’s raw and authentic storytelling has made it easy to connect with her and learn from her experiences. The chapters containing her epiphanies were particularly impactful and provided me with answers I have been seeking on my own journey.

The title “Love Warrior” perfectly encapsulates Glennon’s journey to finding clarity and truth in her life, as she continuously turns to her deepest and truest source for direction. Her resilience and determination in seeking a more profound understanding of herself and the world around her are truly inspiring.

Glennon Doyle is one of those rare individuals with whom I would cherish the opportunity to be friends and engage in meaningful conversations. Reading Love Warrior has been the next best thing, providing me with a sense of connection and guidance on my own path to self-discovery and spiritual growth.

About The Author

Glennon Doyle is not your typical memoirist. Many of her soulful books, including Love Warrior and Untamed, have sold millions of copies. Her fans include Oprah and Adele. According to People magazine, Doyle is the “patron saint of female empowerment.” She is also an activist, a speaker, and the founder of the nonprofit Together Rising.

Buy The Book: Love Warrior

If you want to buy the book Love Warrior, you can get it from the following links:

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