Monday, February 9, 2015

Book Review: Wild

I don't usually read memoir and I was sort of pleasantly surprised to find that this reads like fiction: in that the story seems more focused than many memoirs I have read. It flows and has a plot-line that real life often seems to be missing.

In Cheryl Strayed's Wild, she recounts her journey hiking the Pacific Coast Trail back in the nineties- before everything could be googled and everyone had a cellphone with GPS. She decides to make this hike alone, despite having very little training, after a particularly difficult time in her life.

After the death of her mother and the failure of her marriage, Cheryl is in her twenties and doesn't know who she is or wants to be. She isn't sure how, but she thinks this hike will help her figure things out. I was really impressed with the way she blends the practical details of daily hiking with the ruminations on her screwed up personal life. The transitions were seamless.

If this had been a simple travelogue, I might have been bored. Similarly, if it had been exclusively about her personal drama, it might have overwhelmed. But I thought it worked really well together and felt very well-balanced.

I am looking forward to seeing the movie, but I'll probably wait for it to hit Netflix!

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