Thursday, July 17, 2014

Book Review: Wild

Title: Wild
Author: Cheryl Strayed

Favorite passage: "It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B. It had only to do with how it felt to be wild. With what it was like to walk for miles for no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts. streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way....It was what I knew before I even really did, before I could have known how truly hard and glorious the PCT would be, how profoundly the trail would both shatter and shelter me." 

My reaction: When I bought this book, I felt like I was succumbing to the pressure of all the people who had loudly proclaimed its merits. Previously, every time I had contemplated its cover, standing in the book shelf aisles, I was somewhat doubtful. I know, I know, I know... its a cardinal sin among English majors to judge a book by its cover. But really. The cover is a boot. Did I really want to read a book about a woman who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail? I boring could you get? A boot. On the cover. But then two friends (these sweet girls can be found here and here) whose opinions I do trust both mentioned and praised Wild. And I thought, well what the heck. If nothing else, I'll get a gold star from my nature-loving, hiking-obsessed husband.

I couldn't have been more wrong. As often happens when I procrastinate on a popular title, I find myself thinking "WHY did I ever doubt! And WHY did I wait so long to read it!" There are moments in this book where I was disgusted, then teary-eyed, then laughing my butt off. Other times, it seemed like every other page made my breath hitch. Sure, it's a book about a woman hiking the PCT alone...but its so much more than that, too. It's a book about family, love, loss, marriage, divorce, blisters, mountain lions, strangers, hippies, good ol'boys, Adrienne Rich, horses, mountains, and finding your inner strength. Most importantly, it's a book about what it takes to grit your teeth and put one foot in front of the other.

Get thee to a book store and buy this book!

P.S. What's more...they're making it into a movie! Starring Reese Witherspoon!
 Can it get any better?? 

1 comment:

  1. Haha! I just wrote a review about this book yesterday too! It's really funny how similar our preconceived notions about this book were.


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