Book Review (10/10)


Wild: From Wild To Lost To Found On The Pacific Crest Trail
By: Cheryl Strayed

I read this book quite awhile back and let me tell you, it's truly an inspiring and amazing story ''Wild' is a beautifully descriptive story about loss, pain, nearly giving up, and pushing on.


Cheryl Strayed (protagonist) grew up raised by a single mother of three children who escaped a violent and abusive relationship. They don't have much growing up, and her mother could be considered counter-culture, or hippie-like. She bought rural land in Minnesota and set up a sort of mini farm and rustic retreat, with very little funds and amenities. Cheryl was extremely close with her mother. Despite the title (From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail), the book does not take place entirely on hiking trail. Cheryl gives context to who she is, talking about her childhood, her relationship with her mother, her mother’s cancer diagnosis and quick decline, Cheryl’s disintegrating relationship with her siblings and step-father after her mother’s death, and discussing her youthful marriage. Reeling and suffering from the unexpected death of her mother, surviving in a marriage that she was too young to make work, and fighting a growing addiction to sex and heroin, Cheryl sets out to change her life. She wants to get back to the person she once was. She makes the decision to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.
(As you might have guessed by now, the book is an autobiography.)



A little bit about the trail...the Pacific Crest Trail is a long-distance hiking trail that is 2,650 miles long (so she didn't hike the full PCT). The trail's southern terminus is on the U.S. border with Mexico and it's northern terminus is on the U.S. border with Canada - with California, Oregon and Washington in between.


So anyways, she hikes the trail. However, she only goes 1,100 miles - starting at Mexican border and stopping at the Bridge of Gods which is located in Washington, a little past the Oregon border. She was 26 years old, alone, inexperienced, unprepared, and depressed. In the beginning, you kind of expect her to just give up because of her ill preparation and deep desire to quit, but she does not give up. She pushes through. Along the journey, you read about her obstacles and experiences on the trail, and at times you honestly feel like you're right there with her (that's how well the book is written).
I enjoyed this book a lot - so much that I will probably read it again at some point.

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There's actually a movie based on the book and I watched the movie before reading the book. I definitely recommend the book over the movie just because there's so much better description and background explanation. I did enjoy the movie a lot though - you get to see the actual trail she hiked.





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