When Cheryl lost her mother to cancer, she decided she needed to do some soul-searching and healing. What better way to do just that, but to embark on a backpacking journey along hundreds of miles on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)? A hiking trail that spans the length of the entire Unites States western coastline, from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. Not many have heard of the PCT, let alone even attempted to hike a small length of it. But Cheryl, with little to no backpacking experience, knew she needed to try something extraordinary to find herself again.
If you’re looking for a quick recommendation, no, I would not recommend this book.
This book has been on my TBR list for some time now, and I finally got around to reading it. Or rather, listening to it. I’m glad I finally read it, even though it wasn’t exactly my favorite book because I’ll never have to wonder anymore. The first thought that comes to mind when reviewing this book is pretentious.
There were times when the author felt a bit stuck up, as she stereotyped others who were on the trail with her, giving voice to her thoughts about them such as when a nice hiker was helping her reorganize her backpack. And she implied he was being picky about the number of things she was carrying when he was probably carrying around a Bible in his backpack. As if the Bible was a waste of weight to carry around. Times like these, her attitude felt flippant and dismissive.
But there were also times when her story was inspiring. I’ll admit I’m now interested to try backpacking. It may not be my thing, but if she was able to throw herself headfirst into a massive backpacking trip with little experience, maybe I can do the same. But with a much smaller trip. And a lighter backpack. Overall, I’m conflicted about recommending it. This book was such a huge hit years ago, but I don’t know if it lived up to all the hype. I mean, she even got Reese Witherspoon to play her in the movie!
There were parts I really enjoyed. The way she described some of the beautiful scenery, some of the people she met on the trail, the entire experience itself. I felt inspired, but then the inspiration was instantly deflated when she made some derisive comment about one of her fellow hikers. So no, I don’t think I’d recommend this book to a busy mom. But maybe watch the movie and call it good.
Three out of five stars
If you enjoyed my review of Wild by Cheryl Strayed, you might also like The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Check out my review!
If you’re interested in purchasing Wild, here are some quick links to buy the book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And, if you’re interested to see what others think, here’s the link to the book on Goodreads.