Wild: A Review


At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her. (photo and synopsis from Amazon)


When Wild hit the big screen as Reese Witherspoon's passion project, I was intrigued. Then I saw it on a must-read list of memoirs, so I thought I would give it a go. One of my friends shared that she didn't like it at all, and I was surprised. I mean, how can you go wrong with a woman striking out on her own to hike across the country to refocus her life?!

Well, let me tell you how you can go wrong.

You can go wrong when she's an immature, selfish, basically horrible person. I honestly hated Cheryl Strayed. She destroyed her own marriage. She did a bunch of heroin. She was kind of a hoe.

I thought that I would at least be able to relate to her grief over losing her mom. But no. I got mad at her over that too. She got her mom until she was in her mid-20s - got to be friends with her mom and know her woman-to-woman, and then when she died, she completely let her life fall apart. I am the first person to empathize with the loss of a mom - I share that wound. I know how hard it is. I have friends who know what its like to ache over the loss of their mothers. None of them went and did heroin for kicks. Maybe I didn't like it because I was just so far from who I am - I have nothing in common with this woman.

I know life is messy and that people make mistakes and its not pretty. I get that. Things worked out fine for Cheryl as she hiked along the PCT. But I couldn't root for her.

I will say that I was engaged with her story and wanted to see it through to the end, and in no way did I want her to fail. I just couldn't root for her. I will be very intrigued when I get around to seeing the movie - maybe Reese can make this woman more relatable.

4 comments:

high quality writing service said...

Thank you for your review and feedback on the book! I think that it could by quite ambiguous, but I will definitely read it!

Brooke Higgins said...

My brother says you write the best reviews. car parking at luton airport

Maya Alexander said...

It was the first book i finished this year and you hit towards the right points.
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Jenna Catlin said...

Cheryl has beautifully portrayed her messy life. Not everyone is enthusiastic enough to embrace their mistakes and move on.
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