book reviews

Book Review: Wild



Author: Cheryl Strayed
Published: 2012
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 311
My Rating: 3.5/5

I’m late to the party with this one. Although first published back in 2012, the book was more recently in the news after it’s adaptation into a major motion picture starting Reese Witherspoon. People were raving about the movie, and I’d read a lot of articles by Strayed so I bought a copy and got to reading.

Wild, is the memoir of Strayed’s soul-searching solo hike across infamous Pacific Crest Trail on the East Coast of America. The trail spans eleven-hundred miles across rugged, mountainous terrain, desert outcrops and snow-covered peaks.

At 22, Strayed was in search of herself after falling deep into a pit of despair after her mother’s death from cancer, her marriage breakdown and other not-so-intelligent life choices.

I was really looking forward to this book and the opening paragraph, with it’s descriptive detail of the northern Californian mountains, where Strayed loses her left hiking book over a cliff face,  really drew me in. I was excited to experience her journey through her eyes; the wilderness, the loneliness and her unraveling the twisted thoughts of her torment.

Strayed, tells the story well. She incorporates her backstory well when needed for us to get a grasp on where she was at in her life, and the experiences she had been through. The parts that she covered of her on the trail, were beautiful and poignant and at times really spoke to me. Yet, the book as a whole didn’t feel like the total package, and there were quite a few parts that I glossed over.

Perhaps I wanted more of the soul searching and more of her thought processes, than she gave. Perhaps, I was just expected too much, or something different than she set out to achieve. Or perhaps I was expecting more of her current day wisdom, which of course she didn’t have back then.

Overall I enjoyed the book, and I am looking forward to seeing how it plays out on the big screen.


Are you a Cheryl Strayed fan? Have you read Wild, or seen the movie?