Monday, 10 October 2016

Review : Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Published by : Atlantic Books
1 January 2013
Copy : Paperback - Reviewer purchase

The Blurb

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.

The Very Pink Notebook Review

I didn't really know anything about this book until a trailer for the film caught my eye.  As per my usual rule, I will not watch the film until I have read the book and for this one in particular I am glad I stuck to it.

Wild, is a poignant, gritty and ultimately uplifting memoir from American, Cheryl Strayed.  The book has been written by Cheryl herself with the aid of her notes from the hike and the memories to which she holds dear.  I loved this book, it is a real warts and all account.  She does not try and hide the complete and utter devastation she suffered or caused.  She in no way tries to glamourise or legitimise anything that was done to her or she did to others and this made me have a lot of respect for this author. 

The book, I felt, has been written with real clarity from a hindsight perspective, which for the sake of the memoir is a good thing.  She has picked out and sewn together a brilliant, flowing and logical account of what happened, both within her life prior to, and on the actual months of hiking the PCT.

I relished meeting the colourful (and not so colourful) characters on her journey, the vivid (but not boring) descriptions of her landscapes and the equally amazing and dire conditions she found herself experiencing on this, her journey of a life time.  Often I found myself desperate to read on just to know she made it to her next postal point so she could collect her next box of supplies.

This is a book about not quitting.  About not listening to those who think you can't do something.  It's about the amazing things our bodies and minds can be pushed to do, when we think it would never be possible in a million years.  Would I want to do the things Cheryl did in order to get to this point in her life where she needed such clarity?  Never.  But will I ever think I can't do that again?  Not so much.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed receives a Very Pink Notebook ...


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