I know I’m a little late to the party, but I just finished reading Cheryl Strayed’s Wild this morning. This was a good one.
If you aren’t familiar, Wild is Cheryl Strayed’s memoir about her life following her mother’s death. Strayed lost her mother when she was just 22, a year younger than I was when I lost my dad. I was drawn to the book in part for that reason- it still feels crazy to think about losing a parent at such a young age.
After losing her mother, Strayed’s own life started falling apart. I refuse to believe her mother’s death justifies Strayed’s drug use and extramarital affairs, but I can relate to the feeling of not knowing which way is up after dealing with such a dramatic loss.
Wild is the story of how Cheryl Strayed spent months in the wilderness on the Pacific Crest Trail, braving the elements all alone.
Let me just say now that I am not an outdoorsy person. Don’t get me wrong, I love being outside when the weather is nice, and I’ve walked my fair share of nature trails in the woods. It’s nice to get away from “it all” and escape to the countryside, but at the same time, you’ll never find me camping in a tent or going days on end without a shower or shaving my legs. I’m more of a camping in cabins type of a woman, myself.
Perhaps because of my minimal interest in nature, the first half of Wild felt almost as excruciating for me to get through as I imagine walking up and down a mountain is.
Strange as this may sound if you’ve never read the book, I just kept waiting for something to happen. Finally, at around the halfway mark, the story started to pick up. It’s at this point where Strayed starts to make some incredible progress on the trail, while encountering other PCT hikers who add some more flavor to the story. (The end of the book even includes some follow-ups on the other hikers Strayed met along the way.)
I went into this book thinking that Strayed was a bit of a narcissist, expecting attention for her hike and pity for her drug use and the marriage that she single-handedly destroyed. I still have no sympathy for her reckless behavior, but I have to respect the bravery and strength that it takes to spend months in the wilderness with everything strapped to your back.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed is a good pick for anyone who enjoys reading first-person accounts of true stories. Wild is the kind of book that you don’t forget about after you read it.
Comment below if you’ve read Wild too, and tell me what you think! Now I’m on to the next 5 books I’ve lined up for this Summer! Don’t forget to join me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to keep up with all of my latest posts, and subscribe today!