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

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
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Jun 28, 12

Read in June, 2012

An ultimately disappointing book.

Strayed, in her mid-20s and recently divorced, and never really recovered from her mom's mid-40s shocking cancer death, reads a book and on a whim, decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.

Yep, she plans to hike the crest of the Sierras and Cascades from southern California to, if not the Canadian border, at least to Portland, Ore. And, with nary a bit of serious hiking experience, or even semi-serious.

So, you have a "finding yourself" story with high comedy and high tragedy potential.

Well, other than hamburger toes from too small of boots, the tragedy reality is low. The comedy is high, though, starting with a pack overpacked to twice-necessary weight. That said, she (and many other would-be PCT hikers had to skip a fair chunk of the trail that particular year due to heavy, late snowpack in much of the Sierras.)

Making allowance for that, there is triumph on the hiking side. She gets to Portland.

And has some degree of catharsis.

But, overall, we see little of the "finding yourself" in this book. And, that's the disappointment. Had that not been billed as part of the venture, I'd have rated this book a star higher.

And, that said, the trek apparently worked. She is remarried, seemingly happily, with two children. But, how much catharsis, and insight, did the trip provide? We get but occasional glimpses.
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