Thursday, September 3, 2015

Review: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a big fan of memoirs, and they don't even have to be those of traditionally famous people. I also like to read books about people who undertake "against the odds" quests. I've even enjoyed books about hiking, and my idea of a hike is out to the mailbox. This book checked all boxes.

Cheryl Strayed is grieving the loss of her mother, and in fact, is grieving her life as the dirt-poor child of a single mother. She describes herself as having a hole in her heart that she's tried to fill with promiscuity and drugs. Her mother's death propels her away from her husband, who she describes as her best friend, into a short term relationship with heroin. After an intervention, Strayed makes a rash decision to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert to Washington. She has never been a hiker, and while she does research what she needs, she does little to prepare herself physically for the trek. This book traces her physical, emotional, and spiritual journey as she travels along the difficult trail. The journey becomes one of self-revelation and self-acceptance.

She's a good writer; I read the majority of this in one day, abandoning all chores. While she did describe some of the beauty she experienced along the trail, her descriptive emphasis was on the physical and emotional experience, and I appreciated how the physical scars paralleled her emotional scars.

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