I gave “Wild” by Cheryl Strayer a 4.5/5
This standalone survival/journey autobiography was made into a movie. This book has a bit for everyone. here are my thoughts and notes I wrote while reading:
Right away we learn about Cherry losing her mom at the age of 22, feeling a bit lost in the world and dealing with grief in her own way by deciding to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. I love that the opening scene was her throwing her boot over the mountain cliff side edge. I can almost imagine myself there screaming into the abyss of nature alone, at my desperate rock bottom, wanting the pain to go away.
I have to admit that autobiographies aren’t my usual genre but I enjoyed the struggle, determination and adventure. A decision like this would definitely be life changing. Most of my clearest “moments” in life have been among the trees and mountains while hiking or meditating on paths. I remember this most in-tune I have felt with whatever spirituality is out there was at the summit of a bolder hill in the Rocky Mountains outside Denver as a child. Stories like this make me want to travel more and take more risks. It’s very inspiring.
The no water part on page 195 stresses me out like no other. I’d never survive this.
Since she’s traveling by herself the pacing is a little slower since there’s not as much dialogue so I appreciate the book being broken into sections. At part 5 I liked the quote it started off with: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” by Mary Oliver.
Overall the prose aren’t spectacular since so many sentences start with the word “I” so it’s a little monotonous but that doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of the philosophical theme.
I love the deep questions she asks herself.
The list on page 265 is perfect and page 267 is getting to the good stuff we’ve all been waiting for. The healing section was relieving and much needed. But I’ve never lost a parent so I don’t know what it’s like.
“It was my life- like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very leaner, so very belonging to me. How wild it was, to let it be.”
Sidenote- I love that her mom was an organ donor