"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Found in the Wild - a Review of Wild by Cheryl Strayed

From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail
Author:  Cheryl Strayed
Published:  2012
Publisher:  Alfred A. Knopf
Pages: 319 (including a list of books, "a note about the author," and acknowledgments)
Format:  Hardcover
Source:  borrowed

Author's website:  http://www.cherylstrayed.com/wild_108676.html

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.

My review:  

If Cheryl and I met today we might be friends.  The woman she was at twenty-two, not so much so.  Emerging from a childhood with an abusive father, Cheryl married young and then her world really turned upside down when her mother, whom she adored, was diagnosed with cancer.  Seven short weeks later, her mother succumbed to the disease, and Cheryl's life was altered.  Realizing she couldn't cope, let alone remain in her marriage, Cheryl rebelled at life.  Men and heroin were her drugs of choice, trying to drown the pain.  But she couldn't escape and when she recognized four years later that her life was a mess, she decided to escape.

The Pacific Coast Trail offered Cheryl the journey she needed to find herself and her life.  With an oversized pack so heavy she struggled beneath its weight; not even able to lift it a cm, she managed to struggle her arms through and hitch it up on her back.  Burdened physically, emotionally and mentally, she embraced the opportunity and persevered.  The woman who emerged has come full circle with new perspectives and hope and a belief in herself that has made her a powerful writer and highly sought after public speaker.

I've given myself a day to muddle through my thoughts and emotional response to Wild.  There are aspects I didn't really enjoy but who am I to argue with a memoir?  Wild is like an inspirational travel log with a very personal insight into a life altering experience.  

My one question though, when did she lose the boot and was she barefoot when she finished the trail?  Hmm.....

still from a YouTube Video
About the author:

Cheryl Strayed is the author of Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar, Torch and Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail.  She is an inspirational speaker, columnist, feminist activist, and writing workshop coach.  She is married with two children and resides in Portland, Oregon.



  1. Great work! This is the kind of information that are meant to
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  2. Excellent job reviewing a book that sounds like a worthwhile read ~ I am avid reader so thanks ~ happy weekend,carol, xo

  3. This book sounds soooo good! I love books like this! I bought the audiobook a while ago but still haven't gotten around to listening. Hopefully soon!

  4. The book is an obvious cathartic vehicle for the author and I hope it worked for her. I think I would be comfortable talking with her over coffee on my porch...at that is saying a lot for me.


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