I loved this book. Loved loved loved it.
I think it’s because it’s so honest and heartbreaking. Wild is the memoir of a 26 year old woman whose life falls apart, and to find herself, she hikes the PCT trail from California to Oregon alone.
Four years before the hike, Cheryl lost her mother to a swift moving cancer. One minute her mother was there with her, and a few short months later, she was dying in hospital. Her father had been abusive, and disappeared from her life when she was 6, and Cheryl felt close to her stepfather and two siblings, but found that she lost them and all sense of being a family after her mothers death. She had been the glue holding them together. Cheryl also quickly found her marriage falling apart, as though she was destroying it and didn’t know why. She started doing hard drugs, which led to her trying heroine, which soon became a habit. After her friends intervened, Cheryl realised she was struggling, and came across the idea of leaving everything behind and hiking the trail alone for three months.
And she did it too. Alone. She talks about being unprepared, trying to carry too much, and coming across the odd bear. But something about getting back to nature, and facing it all alone is the core of this book. It’s beautiful. It’s about facing fear, grief, and the future without running from it or medicating it away. But it’s also one persons personal account. It’s incredibly inspiring, reassuring, moving… I haven’t cried reading a book in a long time, but this one really got me. A couple of times.
Read It If: You’ve ever faced loss, or wandered trying to find yourself. For the Eat, Pray, Love readers.