June 29, 2015

Book Review: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

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It has been AGES since I've written a book review, purely by choice. However, this book is truly worth writing a review about because it was unique and different from what I usually read. Wild was one of the first non-fiction books I read and it was a thoroughly rewarding and intriguing book. It is told by a woman who hiked over eleven hundred miles through all sorts of terrain. Not only is it a physical journey, the book takes us through her mental journey as she finds herself in situations that she was not prepared for.

I found myself forgetting that it was even non-fiction, the beauty and descriptiveness of the language unraveled in such a way that sometimes it seemed just like another fiction book. This just reinforced the difficulty that Cheryl Strayed faced in her journey along the Pacific Crest Trail; that I would take stories of her adventures as fiction. Another amazing asset of the book was the honesty to which the author told the stories of her past before hiking the PCT. Of course, there are probably certain things that were left out, however, it was extremely brave to admit to situations that, although were vital in leading to her decision to hike the trail, were slightly astounding.

As I journeyed through this book myself, I found myself questioning my early commitment to doing a long hike myself in the future. Not that I feel discouraged, but reading this has made me realize how much preparation is needed before embarking on a trek like the one Cheryl did. I can't imagine being alone without my friends and families for about 3 months, let alone HIKING alone. Certainly, she did meet people along the way, but personally, I feel attached to so many people here at home. Not only would there need to be preparations in terms of provisions, but I would also need to mentally prepare myself for such a trip.

Wild was a story filled with lessons of pushing through all the hardships, whether that be a loss of a family member, a friend or the pain of blisters. Its message extends to inspire its readers to maybe embark on a physical challenge such as a hike, or maybe just through a difficult period of time.