I had the pleasure of reading Cheryl Strayed’s engaging book, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. After reading just the first few chapters, I knew why Oprah selected it for her book club!
Wild is Cheryl Strayed’s revealing memoir of her 1,110 mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. This certainly isn’t just a hiking story…it is a vivid look into Cheryl’s life as a distraught young woman who spontaneously decided to hike the PCT without any training, long-distance hiking experience, or basic map and compass skills. When she embarks on her journey Cheryl is lost – she’s a youthful 26 year old who had lost her mother four years prior, had cheated on her husband and gone through a divorce, and got mixed up with drugs and meaningless relationships.
Her vivid writing style brought me to tears multiple times, and also made me laugh out loud! As she progresses along the trail and deals with horrible blisters, bruised skin, extreme temperatures, and interesting encounters with other PCT hikers, Cheryl comes to grips with her mother’s death, but does not seem to overcome her desire for drugs and casual sex. Some readers might get frustrated by this, but I found it endearing because it revealed an honest picture of herself and the frailties we all have as humans.
Overall I found the book highly enjoyable, easy to read, and emotionally gripping.
Hiking Lady’s Recommendation: 4 of 5 stars