2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The tale of a woman carrying more than one burden,
This review is from: Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found (Paperback)
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WILD is perhaps one of the most entertaining memoirs that I have read. Following her mother's death, a divorce and then the fracturing of her step-father and sibling relationships, Strayed decides to hike the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) on her own. WILD is the account of how she did it. What I liked about it was Strayed's voice - she is brutally honest with you; she does not shy away from her bereft feelings during her grief, or how she acted during her marriage, and she openly talks about her use of heroin. I also appreciated that, although WILD essentially tells the tale of how she literally and metaphorically undertook her journey, her narrative does not feel too bogged down by the 'inner journey' side of it. Personally, I think is perhaps because when Strayed set out on this physical journey, she didn't really know what she was either letting herself in for, or what she may gain from it.
For me, as a woman, I have to admit that as much as I admired her for carrying out her idea of trekking all those miles, often completely on her own, there were numerous times throughout the book when I was thinking to myself, "is she mad?" or "does she not realise how dangerous that is"! However, as she herself points out, apart from a couple of instances, the majority of the time she only encounters people who want to help her and try to make her ordeal a little less arduous. The accounts she gives of others that she meets along the way help to make the book and bring the PCT to life.
Perhaps one way the book could have been improved, in my opinion, would have been to include some photographs of the trail itself and perhaps some of the characters she met (as I have only had the advance reading copy, I do not know if the hardback has anything like this). Other than that, I enjoyed this book. Ultimately, as you read Cheryl's story and hear about the different kinds of burden she had to bear, you really do come to realise that we all have one burden or another to take through life.