Monday 17 February 2014

Book Review - Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this to be an honest, raw, and moving memoir. At twenty-two, Cheryl lost her mother to cancer after which her life changed dramatically. Distraught and feeling lost, she found herself spiralling into a pattern of self-destructive behaviours which subsequently led to the end of her marriage. Some reviews stated the author was self-absorbed and dim-witted to undertake such a journey but grief is handled differently by different people so I try not to judge her on that score. It was obvious to me that she was struggling to cope with her grief.

Four years later, and still feeling emotionally lost, she made a spontaneous decision to hike the Pacific Crest Trail solo. I enjoyed reading about her experiences on the trail, big and small. I felt like I was there with her in parts and I enjoyed reading about the people she met along the way. It was a great achievement for her but also a freeing and healing journey where she came to terms with her grief. I will say that, being an animal lover, I was devastated at how she handled the situation regarding her mother's horse. I found myself angry at her for that because I felt her excuses were a little on the weak side. There were other alternatives well before it came down to the big decision. That said, I would read this book again.

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  1. I read her book two two summers ago which inspired me to walk the length of Whidbey Island by myself in segments of 5 to 10 miles daily. She is an amazingly brave and courageous soul who knows how to change a dead end lifestyle.

    1. WOW! That's so cool, Lois! I'm glad you felt inspired after reading the book. :)

  2. As Cheryl ends her hike in Washington State the inner journey and book ended too. It wraps up all too fast and tidy in the end. I wanted to hear more about her life after and see some pictures from the trip. I did find a picture on her website with the backpack monster on. I hope for a Part II! Thank you.
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