Friday, April 3, 2015

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

What would it take to hike the Pacific Crest Trail as a lone woman?  Wild is the story of Cheryl Strayed.  Married to a perfect husband while young, Cheryl finds her life unraveling after her mother’s death when Cheryl is only 22 and her mother is 45.  Cheryl makes many unwise decisions at this point which leads to the unraveling of her marriage.  She is at loss in the world and unsure of how to rebuild her life.  She fixates on hiking the Pacific Coast trail alone although she has no hiking or backpacking experience.  She starts in the Mojave Desert and hikes all of the way through the state of Oregon the border of the State of Washington.  Along the way she makes some new and interesting friends, and finds herself.

Wild is the April FLICKS Book and Movie Club selection.  We are discussing it next week and I can’t wait.  I read this book one morning this week while I was sick with the flu.  It was a good way to catch up with my reading, but I wouldn’t recommend doing it this way.

I enjoyed the narrative flow of this book which about Cheryl hiking the trail, but would flashback to her life that lead her up to this point.  Cheryl makes no excuses for her bad life choices, but tries to find a way to find peace with herself and the death of her mother and move on to a life that her mother would have been proud of. 

I felt pained reading this memoir on Cheryl’s hiking shoes that made her toe nails fall off as well as her giant backpack that weighed about half of her weight.  I give her kudos for making this trip alone especially with no experience.   I felt distressed for her at several points, especially the lack of water. Backpacking is hard work and I can’t imagine doing it alone.  It’s been awhile since I’ve gone myself, but even with the bad experiences mixed in, this book made me look forward to when my kids are teenagers and we can go backpacking.  Although I’m thinking more weekend or week long trips.  In the Upper Peninsula J

Overall, Wild is a powerful memoir about one woman hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and finding herself along the way.  I highly recommend it.

Book Source:  The Kewaunee Public Library


  1. I really liked Wild. I also recommend her other book, Tiny beautiful Things.

  2. I really enjoyed the movie and am looking forward to reading the book when my husband is done with it. I found her journey to self-awareness very powerful, plus I love hiking!

  3. I'll put Tiny Beautiful Things on my list and I can't wait to watch the movie - thanks for the recommendations!