At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it alone.
Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humour, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
The story of Cheryl Strayed’s walk along the Pacific Crest Trail turned out to be a popular read with our group. Without seeing the movie, we were able to avoid the Hollywood version of the story and deal directly with Strayed and her struggle to come to terms with life. Most found a few sections where the story bogged down slightly, but not enough to stop them reading.
We all agreed that she was courageous (if not smart) to take on the trail with so little experience, but we also admired her determination. Her life had become a series of unfortunate turns and decisions that had forced motivation to seek some kind of deliverance, and throughout the book, the reader was taken along the trail with her. It makes for compulsive reading!
Without exception we liked the writing style and found the rhythm of the walk, finding much symbolism in the author’s daily rituals. We believe the shedding of her load, both figuratively and literally became a big part of the healing process, and although her story was a sad one, in the end we felt positive for her. A few of us would even like to learn more about the years following her trek.
We enjoyed a lively discussion on the drug issue (Strayed’s and in general) and also the protocol around the ‘walking community’ … how they care for themselves, the environment and others. A very enjoyable, and even uplifting read!