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 humor, 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.
I've been interested in reading this book ever since I heard part of Cheryl Strayed's interview with Terry Gross on NPR. I had only heard bits and pieces of the interview, but it was enough to pique my interest...especially as after that interview, this book was everywhere.
For the most part, I liked this. I love memoirs, especially ones that take place "on the road". In a lot of regards, I found Wild to be inspiring and I applauded Cheryl's determination to complete the task of making this journey, both in hiking the PCT and coming to terms of losing her mother...a part of the story that I was unaware of before reading this.
I wasn't entirely crazy about some of the back story that Cheryl included that became very personal. I understand it was integral for her to include it, even though it actually made me kind of dislike Cheryl but it then redeemed her as the book continued on and it was apparant how much she had grown, matured and learned from her transgressions during the grieving process. Sometimes those flashbacks were a distraction from the Trail, but necessary and so, I could not fault those flashbacks. It would not be the same book without them.
What I can feel disappointed in is the fact that aside from a few paragraphs here and there, there was not much information on the PCT. Again, this wasn't a travel book such as A Walk in the Woods...so background information was not necessary and would have perhaps distracted from the true story...but as someone was very limited knowledge of the trail, I would have appreciated if Strayed had gone a little more in-depth so readers could get a better sense of the PCT.