Trigger Warning: This novel and review discuss the following: relationships, religion, spirituality, sex, drug useage.
Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
As the weather outside gets colder, I find myself dreaming of being outdoors more. Of course, in the spring/summer/fall I’m out and about soaking up the whatever kindness the Kentucky weather gives me, but by this time of year, I’m starting to feel the lack of sunshine. So, from my pile of December TBRs, I pulled out Wild, ready for an adventure with some cozy feels.
Let me tell you, if you haven’t read it yet, the emotional journey in this book will have you cheering on Cheryl and every woman you know who is searching for inner peace. I connected with her as the narrator in the way that I connected with Liz from Eat Pray Love– I felt like her confidant, and she inspired me in so many ways.
First off, Cheryl is not a perfect person. She’s lost her mother, her husband, her family, her sense of identity, and dealing with these tragedies lead her to drugs, adultery, desperation, and poor attempts to escape her reality. She decides that the only way she can figure out how to face her problems is to go on a physical journey- hiking the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) from Southern California to the Oregon/Washington border- alone. Terrified and relatively unprepared, she sets out with her pack (lovingly dubbed Monster) and literally carries her baggage through the wilderness, getting stronger mile by mile.
(Photo Credit: Google Images)
It’s excruciating and exhilarating all at the same time. Each step of the way, the reader in inside Cheryl’s head, reliving her past, figuring out how to handle what could come in her future, and yet staying in the moment with her as she sees some amazing views of the country. And, on the occasions that she meets up with those on similar kindred travellers, the reader gets to experience the camaraderie of people who walk the same path for all sorts of reasons.
“I was amazed that what I needed to survive could be carried on my back. And, most surprising of all, that I could carry it.”
I’ve seen the movie as well, starring Reese Witherspoon, and no matter which medium you partake in, it’s absolutely worth it. I highly recommend the book (although I know I’m not the only one, and Oprah beat me to it years ago). I’m glad I found this copy on a recent book haul, because it is certainly one of my new favorites.
TL/DR: Wild by Cheryl Strayed is a memoir about a woman’s self-journey as she hikes the Pacific Crest Trail alone.
Read it? YES- believe the hype, it’s true.
Recommend it? Yes, best mature readers, but all women (and men) could appreciate her tale.
Buy it? It’s a backlist novel, so it’s really easy and usually inexpensive to get your own copy.
Watch the movie? It’s a good movie adaption starring Reese Witherspoon, so I would definitely recommend it- especially for the cinematography.
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