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Book Review: WILD By Cheryl Strayed
What is the book about?
WILD FROM LOST TO FOUND ON THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL is a memoir by author Cheryl Strayed about her 1,100 mile journey along the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State. A solo "hike" of crazy proportions to find the answers to her disheveled life all the while meeting new interesting friends and characters who help her to put things into perspective.
Who is Cheryl Strayed?
The author Cheryl Strayed took this journey at the age of 26 and was at that time an unpublished writer, confused and recently divorced. She was struggling with the sudden death of her mother years before and her subsequent spiral downward that included infidelity, drugs, promiscuous behavior and her divorce from the wonderful man, Paul, that she professes throughout the book to still be her best friend. This is her memoir, her recollection of events of the hike and her life story interwoven within the 1,100 mile journey. Her last name was "made up" after her divorce and has an ironic twist to it given her adventure along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).
Sometimes throughout the book the stories told and adventures she experienced seem way too farfetched to be real. However, there are several very emotional sections that literally brought tears to my eyes. Having lost my mother to cancer, I could totally relate to the sections in the book that she spoke about the doctors, the pain and the loss. And there are other key tragic experiences in her life that she recollects within the book that are so heart-wrenching I found myself emotionally spent and needed a break. One such experience was her having to deal with her dead mother's horse that was her joy and treasure.
Most of the people that she meets are all very friendly, which unfortunately in today's society is not often the case. And her bravery to venture out on her own, a woman alone on the trail for months on end is the most amazing of all. The elements, the animals, the strangers... there are so many things that could happen and that could go wrong-very wrong. Don't misunderstand me, she certainly conveys her share of mishaps, pains and sheer stupidity along the way. It is just unfathomable to me that she actually could do this. Maybe that is just because it is something I would never in my right mind agree to do - with others or alone!
Worth your time?
I would definitely recommend this book to read. It is very well written and the information she shares about the Pacific Crest Trail is very interesting and educational also. There are areas where bad language is an issue and also sexual encounters, so I would caution against children reading it before a parent reads it. Even with these cautions, there are great lessons to be learned in the book for young readers, about appreciating parents, understanding limits and peer pressures. For that matter, adults can learn all these lessons too! Read WILD and experience Cheryl Strayed's adventure with her!