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More Bookish Thoughts...
on July 4, 2012
When Cheryl Strayed decided to hike part of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), she was floundering in her life and needed to throw herself wholeheartedly into a quest. In the solitude of nature, Strayed wanted to ponder her life, to grieve the death of both her mother and her marriage and perhaps even to gain some closure. This beautifully written and contemplative memoir deals with loss and grief but also depicts a primal fight with the world.
"Wild" tells awe-inspiring anecdotes about a monstrously heavy backpack (aptly nicknamed Monster), lost boots and surviving for 100 miles on 62 cents. It describes horrible unpreparedness and inexperience. It suspensefully highlights a constant search for enough food, water and energy to take one more step. Above all, Strayed writes with frank, raw emotion and bubbling grief. She neither minces words nor tries to place herself in the best possible light. But instead of judging Strayed, the reader sympathizes with her because of her appealing, refreshing honesty.
Ultimately, "Wild" explores the themes of both human weaknesses and untapped reserves of strength. Strayed had an amazing journey on so many levels and her intense, vivid descriptions and powerful narrative certainly strike a chord with readers.