Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.


Ebook Details
  • 07/2022
  • 9781933719412 B0B5WBH4KS
  • 301 pages
  • $0.99
Carter McNamara
Wolf: A Memoir of Love and Atonement

From the award-winning author, Carter McNamara, comes his truly unique, raw, and compelling story about how, with the support of his life partner, he overcame his trauma to save his sanity, relationship, and career--and yet his story ends with a shattering revelation.

His partner wanted an open, honest, and trusting relationship with him. As an adult child of an alcoholic (ACoA) and of a drug addict, he refused to confront his painful past. His fear, guilt, and deep-felt shame blocked him from trusting others and sharing himself.

For children in dysfunctional families or veterans on the battlefield, the traumatized often mistakenly blame themselves for their role in the trauma. This story helps them and their partners to approach recovery and some of the common symptoms of PTSD—denial, detachment, and outbursts of anger—with understanding and without judgment.

This exceptionally well-written story also offers a real-life example of how partners can balance life’s stressors (including juggling jobs, finances, schedules, and childcare), while working to save themselves and their relationships.

NOTE: There are many very good memoirs about painful childhoods and recovery from that abuse. However, this memoir is truly unique because it is also a story about:

  • How the abused, himself, grew up to abuse his own family until he faced his painful past
  • How he had to face the damage he had caused
  • The atonement he had to do to his family to fully recover from his own child abuse
  • The critical role of his partner, his caregiver, in his family's recovery
  • What powerful one-on-one and group therapy sessions can sound like
  • What the traumatized can truly hope for in life: a loving, nurturing relationship that lasts.

Who is this true story for? It is for anyone wanting a more open, trusting, and respectful relationship.

To get a full impression of this book, scan the amazing customer reviews it is getting at .

Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 7.00 out of 10


Plot/Idea: In a moving memoir, McNamara openly reflects on how his traumatic and tumultuous childhood experiences have influenced his adult life. While McNamara's life story isn't exceptional, many readers will find his journey toward forgiveness and understanding to be relatable.

Prose: McNamara's prose is bright and vivid. By placing readers directly within the formative moments of his childhood, the author brings verisimilitude to the text.

Originality: Though stories of past trauma are familiar, McNamara brings refreshing candor to the narrative. His exploration of his own anger is especially powerful.

Character/Execution: Throughout the stages of his life, McNamara comes across as authentic and distinctive. His supportive life partner is equally well conveyed.

Date Submitted: January 17, 2023

Andy Watson, Media Producer

We, as a nation, are carrying an almost insurmountable load of trauma and stress that we have difficulty processing. The erosion of democracy and justice before our eyes, a pandemic claiming a million lives (displacing two years of our American history) and the steady, daily drumbeat of the News and social media. We have collectively become an angry and defensive nation. Individually, we want to confront, lash out and defend ourselves to hopefully stop the madness. We are enraged, we raise a clenched fist, we place blame and seek retribution! But what if that response was due to a series of traumatic experiences from our adolescence that we've just naturally carried into adulthood? That's the basis for Carter McNamara's deeply personal and thought-provoking memoir "Wolf".

This page-turner is at times hilarious but also a terror-filled recollection of rage and emotional poison against his drug addicted and alcoholic mother while growing up in a small town in North Dakota. Older siblings have effectively moved on and a boy of nine is left to deal with an emotionally shattered and vindictive shell of a woman who wields a knife to hunt imaginary rats in the middle of the night, berates and punishes the boy at every turn, and swears him to secrecy from the neighbors. She ignores his pleas for love and understanding and his only way to get through to her is through rage and dominance....and he deals with overwhelming guilt for needing to treat her that way. This goes on until he is freed in his late teens.

Carter's story is told through flashbacks. Decades later, he displays the same defensive survival mechanisms at his job and with his family--which is when the issue rises to the surface and must be addressed through group and individual therapy. His wife makes it clear that this cycle of rage and blame must stop.

His is ultimately a hopeful tale but, beware dear reader, it will cause you to reflect on your own experience. A first response of "whew, nothing that bad ever happened to me" is quickly followed by "oh, wait...yeah it did!" We naturally push away unhappy feelings and events from our childhood, believing we've moved on, forgiven someone and now that past experience doesn't matter. McNamara reminds us it's still there. Remove one layer of self-awareness and the next one rises to the top. Repressed feelings of injustice and abandonment are all part of growing pains, but were you really okay with Mom not showing up for your Choir Concert or your older brother escaping from the house at his earliest convenience and never looking back? Or did you just convince yourself it didn't matter, you didn't care and, today, you adamantly refuse to be hurt by it?

The author is especially effective at capturing the voice of the characters involved in the storyline. Whether he's 9 or 15 or 60, each page presents an age-appropriate recollection of his thought-processes and vocabulary. With a breezy writing style, each character is described in vivid detail with the personal thoughts and observations of the writer doing a remarkable job of letting you inside--even when the anger rises from within to become a ticking time bomb. The therapy sessions are intimate and honestly'll be a fly on the wall. The story structure reveals what you need to know when you need to know it and the text is not riddled with difficult to follow jargon.

To summarize, McNamara has poured his soul, recollections and aspirations into an honestly told, sometimes disturbing memoir that, perhaps unintentionally, forces the reader to examine their own past, their behavior under stress and how it is all connected. "Wolf" is a powerful memoir that you'll be recommending to friends and family...especially to those who would benefit from it.  

Midwest Book Review


Carter McNamara

Authenticity Consulting, LLC

978-1933719405                     $15.99 Paper/.99 Kindle

"Before we can talk about getting your family back, we need to start with you."

Wolf: A Memoir of Love and Atonement is a study in dysfunction, recovery, and relationships that pulls no punches as it presents a powerful example of how love can overcome trauma.

Carter McNamara begins by acknowledging that the very act of writing this book was a "soul-ripping experience" because he grew up in a culture and time when "people rarely talked about their personal problems."

The crisis that prompted his recovery process and acknowledgement of the damage he'd inadvertently inflicted upon his own family, and his process of atoning for it, makes for riveting reading that will prompt many members of his audience to better understand their own impact on their loved ones.

As Wolf unfolds, the threads of dysfunction are traced between generations and their presence and impact are studied through the personal lens of experience. Why read this book if you have also either experienced such trauma or meted it out? McNamara offers a solid example of not only how to face personal demons, but how to build a loving, healthy relationship.

Victims of such a heritage receive hope and examples of how to move through trauma into a better life, while those who have spread trauma through their own responses and choices can learn how to "gain forgiveness from them—and perhaps from yourself."

The story comes steeped in much personal reflection that follows the processes of questioning and healing—an intrinsic part of recovery.

The step-by-step portraits of McNamara's pivot points and life are studies in meticulous behaviors and analysis which translate to minute descriptions of people, conversations, and places that all hold nuggets of wisdom.

The logic behind his choices is brought to life through these close inspections: "Nothing to gain if I go in, but something to lose if I don't. Teri would be disappointed. She'd wish I'd done what I promised. I'd better stay in her good graces."

Wolf is a solid example of good storytelling that takes a step-by-step walk through the process of relationship-building, reconstruction, and lasting "cure."

Readers who have or have not faced their own trauma and recovery will find many of these paths familiar, yet here they come reinforced by the wisdom of self-examination and experience that outline pitfalls and possibilities for others still on the road to healthy life interactions.

The result is a memoir that offers much beyond one man's experience. Those who walk a similar path of struggling to reconcile their past and build a better life by acknowledging and atoning for their actions and choices will find Wolf a blueprint for identifying and following a better road.

Libraries strong in memoirs and self-help will be attracted to Wolf, but ideally it will also assume a prominent role in book club discussions and perhaps even twelve-step programs as a candid, raw example of healing and recovery. – D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Ebook Details
  • 07/2022
  • 9781933719412 B0B5WBH4KS
  • 301 pages
  • $0.99