Title:Wild. Lost and Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Authoress : Cheryl Strayed
Not very often do I read about travel adventures and memoirs. But a short true story of a lady in Reader's Digest about the eleven hundred miles hike all alone, compelled me to go and read this book. When I researched more on the book, I got to know that it has also won the Goodreads Choice Award in the Memoir genre. That is when I picked it up and couldn't keep it down for a bit.
This book is quite inspiring and I'm totally a fan of all those women out there who do the extraordinary things all by themselves without being dependent on anyone. Also this book talks of kindness of strangers which I thought was very rare these days. When Cheryl's mother died within forty five days of battling lung cancer, her life felt haywire. After her marriage failed and after her divorce after about three years of her mother's death, she still felt that her life was quite disorientated and she hadn't found her inner peace yet. When she picked up a book about the Pacific Crest Trail in a super market, she felt quite determined to do it so that she could find all the mental peace she had been craving for by testing her extent of physical strength.
Cheryl put in all her money she had been acquiring through waiting jobs and set up on this most physically excruciating journey for three months so that she can forget all that she had gone through for the past three years. She writes about her struggles through the journey, the various encounters with rattle snakes, bear and other non-human beings, the skip in the trails and other alternative paths due to record snowfall that year, her testing of physical limits through the cold snowy regions and the hot humid regions, her tryst with other kind PCT hikers, her experience through reading her favorite novels while reminiscing about her childhood days and all of this put together makes it quite an interesting read. There are many a times when you empathize quite well when she talks of her childhood days, her siblings and step father.
But I do have a few qualms about the author as well as the book. She almost left her husband Paul but is yet very regretful about it. She keeps cribbing about it all the time. Though she has chosen this path and hike all by herself, yet she makes you feel pity on her. Also, I disliked the way she almost falls for another stranger when one of the reasons why she hiked the PCT was her affinity towards random men. Many instances in the story where she alternates between the hike experience and her personal life stories, there is quite a disconnect of emotion. The reminiscences of the author's childhood and youth have been randomly thrown and editing could have made wonders to this book.
But my ratings are totally for the sole woman's grit and wit and determined solo hike. The book and te editing could have been much better.
Ratings : 3.5/5(Good read for a travel freak)