Well written story that felt very earnest and forthcoming. Cheryl Strayed shared details of her life that I wouldn't have wanted to share but it was her openness about her past and the deep love she has for her mother that make me like her. I found Cheryl's courage motivational. The book did go on a bit too long for my taste. I wish there was the ability to give 1/2 stars as I would rate it a 3 1/2 star book.
I had a hard time getting into this book in the beginning but once she got on the trail, I couldn't put it down. I'd go from thinking she was an idiot to loving her, then to a little bit of both! I've been through hard times and I can understand how she felt compelled to do the hike. Her writing is beautiful, her descriptions are vivid. The story flows well back and forth from present to past, to give the reader a better understanding of what led to Cheryl taking this journey. It's an emotional read but it left me feeling proud of her, not sorry for her like I thought I might. She's unprepared and beaten up by her journey but remains strong. I highly recommend this book but it's not for the faint at heart, as there are some pretty graphic descriptions.
My bookclub loved it. It is a memoir and quite reflective. Strayed lost her mom, lost her way and decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail to find herself. She weaves her destructive behavior pre-hike along with the stories about her mother and family with the hike itself. There are some difficult subjects which are glazed over, and some that are simply laid bare. It is really well written but not for everyone. She lost her mom at a young age (22) and without that anchor her life came undone. At 22 we are selfish and think we know more than everyone else. This shines through, she was a selfish person going through a lot of pain. Her decisions are not well thought out, she was actually quite lucky on the trail and in life.
If you don't mind a different perspective on life and loss and are not looking for or expecting a pure travel/trail book like A Walk in the Woods or Into Thin Air, then check it out.
Wild is Cheryl Strayed's emotionally gripping account of survival through the devastating loss of her mother and the spontaneous and uninformed decision to hike the Pacific Crest Trail through California and Oregon alone at the age of twenty-six. Strayed's tale is brazenly honest, highlighting the highs and lows of the decisions her grief led her to, the mistakes that shaped and molded who she became and led her on a path of healing. I identified with her love of books and words, admiring how she chose to describe things with clarity and precision. Oddly, I identified most with her aversion to math. She states, "I'd never had a mind for math. I simply couldn't hold the formulas and numbers in my head. It was logic that made little sense to me. In my perception, the world wasn't a graph or formula or an equation. It was a story." Wild is a beautiful memoir about the depths of grief and the journey of ascending to placidity.
This is real! The author tells the story of how she deals with life which has socked her in the jaw. The death of her mother and divorce sends her rocking back on her heels. To find her center or simply to understand herself she decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. After all, how hard can it be? She's done some hiking so why not. Why not indeed? As she outfits herself for the trip she takes every bit of equipment recommended by the recreational stores and packs a pack. And, it's heavy! She can hardly lift it but this is only the beginning. One can laugh, sympathize and cheer the stubborn pride of this determined young woman. Cheryl tells her story with incredible honesty. I liked it.