Wild by Cheryl Strayed

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Wild

From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

by Cheryl Strayed

published by Knopf

2012

My Review

I admit I was interested in this book after I read about it when the movie was about to come out.  I know a lot of bloggers really loved it too, so I thought I would try it, even though non fictions not my cup of tea.  I have heard great and awful things about the book, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

I really liked it.

Many have complained the author is a whiny, self indulgent, narcissistic character, others that the story didn’t really focus on the Pacific Crest Trail.  Some have gushed about what an amazing thing she did.  It was a confusing place from which to start a book.

If you are living under the same rock that I was here is a quick break down.  Cheryl Strayed was pretty destroyed by losing her mother to cancer.  Cheryl was 21?, and her mom in her very early 40s.  Her siblings dispersed, her step dad remarried.  Cheryl proceeded to destroy what was good in her life by repeatedly cheating on her husband, and then telling him.  After separating from him, her life got even  worse.  She hooked up with a drug user and started doing heroin.  She had an abortion.  Just when it looked like she was doomed, she decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from Souther California to Oregon.  She had never really hiked before-so probably not a very smart choice.  She didn’t prepare physically or mentally.  She just set out with a gigantic backpack.

Honestly, at no point in this book did I think to myself- wow- she is brave, or strong, or smart.  She was unprepared.  She didn’t really know what she was doing.  But- and here is the point, I think- of the whole story-she DID something.  When she knew her life was going terribly wrong-she stopped, evaluating everything in the process.  She TRIED to work through her problems on her own out there.  There was no wonderful happy ending, except that she made it through and came out on the other side, while having one of the best, rewarding and amazing experiences of her life.

I loved reading about all the wonderful people she met out there (though there were also some pretty creepy ones).

I am really glad I read this book.  It reaffirmed for me that we are all only human.  We make mistakes.  Hopefully, we learn from them and become better people.

Now I can’t wait to see the movie!

Summary

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it alone.
Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

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8 thoughts on “Wild by Cheryl Strayed

  1. I got this from a secret Santa, and I’m hoping to read it soon. I’ve been trying to read more non-fiction and am more comfortable reading memoirs so this one, being everywhere the last few months, seems like a good one to read.

  2. Nice review, and I felt much the same way about this book, although I do think preparing for 6 months should count for something, it just wasn’t enough. It’s an interesting question whether she was brave or not — I would have been terrified. She wasn’t really afraid and bravery is when you do something you fear. On the other hand, setting out into the wilderness and walking across two states on your own is brave (and strong) to me. But that’s what this book makes you think about, which is why it works!

  3. I read it some years ago and I loved some parts, but on the whole, I didn’t find this book inspiring at all. It reminded me too much of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. But the upcoming movie looks great, and I really think Reese Witherspoon can pull off that complex part.

  4. Pingback: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson | Turn the Page Reviews

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