Book Review || Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Book Review Wild by Cheryl Strayed blurb

Wild by Cheryl Strayed was chosen as a read from my Bloggers Book Club, organised by the lovely Jenny at Sunny Sweet Pea.

It’s not a usual book I’d have picked up, favouring fiction over non-fiction. However, I have read a few autobiographies and loved them, just not usually from strangers. I find that I love them because they’re celebrities or people I already find funny or admire in some way.

It was a very mixed discussion, let’s just say that. For a #1 Best Seller and a book that’s been since made into a “major motion picture”, we were all a bit at odds with it.

The story starts horrifically – well, about as depressing as reading about someone’s mother dying from cancer can be at any rate. Chapter 1 made me want to give it up completely, I felt drained and depressed. But fear not, it does, I guess, set the scene.

As explained briefly in the blurb, Cheryl goes on a big long hike. 1,100 miles to be precise. Across the West Cost of America. Alone.

The actual walk is called the Pacific Crest Trail (or PCT) and is well documented and famous among hikers – apparently. The funny thing is that Cheryl herself doesn’t actually know much about it either, which leaves you both annoyed and admiring her strength of character. It is this conflict that left me unsure if I enjoyed the story, or hated it. Tricky really.

Whilst she seemingly starts the journey prepared, it soon transpires otherwise. So very under prepared. It turns out having all the kit does not make you a hiker. Though I could imagine the pain she was in, her moaning did drag on a little in parts. Don’t get me wrong, the book was finished. Some of the characters she meets along the way are very enjoyable, and they add to the story.  However, I can’t help but agree with some other reviews that she is quite self indulgent and destructive. Although sometimes hard to read her description and obvious depth of grief is very real, but it’s far more heart breaking and frustrating to see how she coped with it, than an uplifting tale showing how she overcame it.

I’m torn with Wild, liking the overall concept and adventure, but majorly disliking Cheryl. Sorry Cheryl…

Rating: 5/10

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