Cheryl Strayed’s autobiographical book is a staunch reminder of the inner strength that we all carry.
At the age of 26, reeling from various turbulent emotions and personal losses, the author set out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail without any prior training or experience in undertaking such physical challenges.
Being a homebody, you can imagine how far out of my comfort zone something like a hike is.
I picked up this nonfiction book because I’m always in awe of people who challenge themselves and attempt to achieve mind over matter. Wild is a beautiful example of this.
The writing is detailed, weaving the author’s journey over the course of several months along with events from her past that have shaped her.
So you’re not just reading about the progress she makes each day, the setbacks she’s had to face, but also about her relationship with her family, and the extent to which she has felt lost in life.
A lot of the happenings in the author’s life have been written matter-of-factly. They don’t come across as a plea for sympathy.
Although I’m not familiar with the mountainous terrain in the US, I didn’t find the narrative to be overwhelming at all. What I was able to take away from it all is oodles of inspiration.
Moreover, because I listened to the audiobook as well, the somewhat information-heavy bits were easier to get through.
It’s interesting to know the mindset the author has had throughout the journey, from second-guessing herself to persevering in the face of dire consequences.
If you can’t stomach gore or gruesome details, you might want to reconsider reading this book. A few physical injuries have been described in ways that could possibly be disturbing to some readers.
I don’t know much about the Pacific Crest Trail outside of what’s in this book, so I can’t comment on how accurate a portrayal the writing is of the entire experience. I’m sure there are hikers who have covered that in their book reviews.
The reason why I would recommend Wild is that it is a motivating, insightful secondhand glimpse of a unique journey that the author embarked on.