Sunday, January 8, 2017

Review: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Title: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail
Author: Cheryl Strayed
Format: E-Book (Kindle)
Pages: 338
Date(s) Read:  Jan 9-17, 2016
Rating: 4

Summary: At 22, Cheryl’s life had fallen apart.  Family scattered, her mother’s death, and ultimately the dissolution of her own marriage.   Four years later, with nothing to lose, she makes the most impulsive decision of her life.  No training or experience, she chooses to hike 1000 miles of the Pacific Coast trail from the Mojave Desert, through California, Oregon and into Washington.  


Okay, so first thing first, I’m usually not one for this particular type of memoir.  I really am not, however, I did actually kind of enjoy this book.  Even though there were more than a thousand times I wanted to pitch my kindle across the room swearing and wondering what kind of idiot Cheryl was to attempt such a thing without at least a small amount of experience - for most people something like this is bordering on suicidal if you don’t have at least the basic idea of survival skills.  Hell, I grew up a Girl Scout and camping with my grandmother, that doesn’t mean that I intend on hiking these massive trails alone without at least some further brushing up on my training first.

Yeah, I get that it was a soul searching, a way for her to face her fears and ultimately find some form of healing in her life.  However, there were perhaps other ways she could have gone about it without putting her own life at risk by attempting to undertake such a venture.  Of course none of them perhaps would have provided the level of intensity and healing that Cheryl required at this point in her life.  In truth, who is anyone to judge the level of extreme that someone must go through to heal themselves when they think that they honestly have nothing left to lose.  The fact that Cheryl did choose something perhaps this crazy is something that does speak to me on a bit of a personal level because to be honest, there were other ways that her life could have gone and none of them end with this being a memoir, but instead being a story of a life no longer lived.  

This journey was essentially Cheryl’s version of what most recently is known as the “semicolon” project.  This was her semicolon.  Her choice to do something completely different rather than succumb to the potential downward spiral of depression.  94 days on the Pacific Coast Trail was Cheryl’s version of climbing her way upward from what at 26 for her, was rock bottom.  

I have not actually seen the movie based off this book, but I will have to see if I can find it and watch it sometime this year.  It did tickle me a bit to see this referenced in Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life, it kinda made me happy.  

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