I started and finished Wild by Cheryl Strayed over the weekend.
I am so torn on how to review this book. I was bawling through the first
chapter, detailing the death of Strayed's mother. It takes some good
writing to make me cry so I knew she had that down pat. The book itself
kept my attention all weekend. I loved reading about the PCT and her
journey; even if she was ill-prepared and quite stupid to tackle this
endeavor with no hiking experience under her belt. Maybe that is WHY I
like this book - getting lost in the wilderness in order to find
yourself appeals to me greatly. As a matter of fact, after reading this
book and others about hiking I truly have it on my bucket list to at
least do a several day hike somewhere.
On the other hand, Strayed is a very self-absorbed woman. She basically
used her mother's passing as an excuse to sleep around and ruin her
marriage (which was a perfectly love filled one if we are to believe her
writing) and become a junkie. Only a junkie would write about heroin as
though it was just a recreational drug that she could "stop whenever
she wanted to". Taking opium in some guy's truck in a parking lot?
Drinking mixed drinks with complete strangers? Sounds smart. While grief
can do many things to you, I did not view Strayed in a good light at
all throughout the book. She is so self-serving and makes herself seem
like such a queen bee. Almost every single person she meets in the book
either tells her how hot she is, how pretty she is, wants to sleep with
her, wants to be her.
So while I enjoyed the book, I do not like the author. I can't imagine
why so many reviews call her an inspiration. Because despite her
complete stupidity she is still alive?
It has sparked a wish list of longer hikes for my family to-do list for the summer. Because my husband is starting a new job next month (more about that later), he won't have any vacation days for quite awhile, so we will be planning day-cations for our vacation this year. Hiking will be involved in many of them!