David Yoon's Reviews > Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
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's review
May 11, 2012

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Read from May 11 to 26, 2012

I'm not a fan of the hand wringing, first world problems - have I got some, redemptive memoir. Stop me if you've heard this before... with the death of her mother the author divorces her husband, flirts with rampant promiscuity and a quickly developing heroin addiction. Her solution? To hike the Pacific Crest Trail from California to Washington on her own with little to no outdoor hiking experience… in an effort to find herself.

But I like her honest, unfettered voice that tells a story like a good friend over a bottle of the good stuff. She has an ability to invoke the sweeping vistas and bleak otherness of the wilderness. How awesome people can be. How they can save your life by doing something as simple as talking to you or putting you up for the night.

You know how the story ends but she makes the journey worthwhile. It's contradictory, messy and convoluted with no easy outs and only the persistent weight of an all too big backpack and the punishing crawl of simply putting one aching foot in front of the other and telling herself over and over "I am not afraid."

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