Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book Review: "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed

Had a few snow days to do some reading.

"Wild" was at the top of my stack to finish!

I decided to pick up this book to read with an online book club. I thought it sounded exciting! "Wild" is about a young woman who sets out to find herself after the series of tragic events that have happened in her life.  She does this by hiking alone along the Pacific Crest Trail.

There were some things I had to look past to get through this book.  It contains a lot of drugs, sex, vulgar language, and is just plain raunchy at times.  The f word is used so many times throughout the book, that it, frankly, becomes annoying.  Definitely not my normal read!  You're probably wondering why I continued to read it.  This is a young woman, who had an abusive early childhood, and absolutely no spiritual or religious upbringing.  Her mother has just died, her marriage is ending, and she has no reason to have hope. I imagine that this is what life is really like without God.  I wanted to follow her journey and watch her find light in the darkness.

Reading "Wild" was a journey in itself.  It is exciting like I expected.  It is also heart-breaking, depressing, shocking, and terrifying. We all experience obstacles in life, such as loss, failure, heartache, but Strayed experiences more than her fair share before and during her hike! The constant adversity became depressing, and at times, I had to put the book away for awhile. 

One of the things I like most about this book is how vividly Strayed describes the beauty around her.  Chapter 14 was my favorite chapter, where she describes the shades of pink and orange azaleas, and calls them a gift. This is also the chapter where she first cries because she feels fullness.

There were situations throughout her hike that I don't think I could have handled, particularly the ones involving creatures.  But there is an encounter she has with two men, that absolutely terrified me.  My heart was racing, wondering what was going to happen to her!

There were several times when she could have given up, but she continues speaking life into herself, telling herself she isn't afraid.  I think that's what I found most inspiring about "Wild." We are all so much stronger than we think we are.  No matter what the circumstances, we can have resiliency, and keep going. Fear doesn't have to overtake our journey.

If you've read "Wild," or watched the movie, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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Some food for thought:

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27


G. Hutchinson said...

I finished the book this weekend and completely agree with your review. I really loved it and I was captivated by the journey. I absolutely hated the "F" word use so many times and found myself praying for Cheryl throughout!

Little Miss Vegetarian (Jessica) said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, G. Hutchinson!