Hey guys! This morning I’m doing a book review of Wild, by Cheryl Strayed as part of Julie’s book club. I’ll be back later today with a regular weekend recap, but for now, here is my review of Wild!
Cheryl Strayed wrote Wild as a memoir to document her journey hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) more than 1,000 miles from the Mojave desert in California to Washington state. After losing her mother to cancer and leaving her husband for drugs, other men, and an unfortunate abortion, the 26 year-old decided to hike the PCT all alone in order to pull herself out of the slump that was her life.
Through her journey, Cheryl faced physical challenges such as sweltering deserts and slippery, snow-covered passages, as well as emotional challenges such as letting her mother’s memory rest and moving on from her ex-husband. Though Cheryl faced rattlesnakes, bears, and creepy men on the trail who tried to take advantage of her, the hardest thing for her to overcome was to fill the void of emotions left in the wake of her past. Eventually, Cheryl completed her hike and realized she was full again and put all of her troubling habits and memories to rest.
I thought this book, though slow at times, was incredibly inspiring. Cheryl faced so many obstacles during her hike that certainly would have made me break down into tears or turn right back around and give up, and yet she remained strong and persevered. I loved reading about her past and hearing about how she got into the position she was in. Though she was vague to everyone else she met along the way about why she was hiking the PCT, she let readers have a glimpse into her past, and seeing everything she went through was crucial to connecting with her as a character.
Overall I thought the book was pretty well-written, though like I said it was slow at times. I thought some details could have probably been omitted since they weren’t entirely relevant to the overall plot, but then again it is a memoir and it should be told as it happened.
This is a great book for anyone who is feeling a little down in the dumps and wants to read a story about a truly inspirational woman who was able to turn her life around without the help of anyone else. I think it’s safe to say Cheryl Strayed is certainly a role model to us all.
So, what did you guys think of Wild? What did you think of the characters she met along the way and her immediate bond with them? How did you feel about the way she talked about men and her relationship with them? Did it bother you that she didn’t seem to regret her intimacy with so many strangers? How did you feel about how she left things with Paul? Any thoughts on her use of symbolism, either in regards to the lost Vietnam bracelet, the Bob Marley t-shirt, or the feather from Doug?
If you’re interested in hearing more about Wild, Oprah has an interview with Cheryl Strayed on her website. It’s pretty interesting and I recommend checking it out!