Wild by Cheryl Strayed



Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This book had been on my ‘To Be Read’ list for quite some time now.  World Book Night America is just around the corner and this is the book I was chosen to hand out that night, so I thought I better read it before I hand them out so I can give readers and idea of what to expect.  This book was nothing like I expected to say the least!

“Wild” isn’t a concept-generated book, that is, one of those projects that began as a good, salable idea. Rather, it started out as an experience that was lived, digested and deeply understood. Only then was it fashioned into a book — one that is both a literary and human triumph.

Through her trip into the wilderness, Strayed has the distance to reflect on who her mother was as an individual as opposed to who her mother was only in relation to herself.  This allows her to appreciate her mother but also to accept her as a flawed human being, which consequently allows her to move on in a healthy way.  Alone and facing grueling hikes on a daily basis, Strayed succumbs to her most basic, human needs.  Physically drained at the end of each day, she forgets her personal problems, instead focusing on ones necessary for survival.  Reflecting on this, she says, “I’d thought I’d weep tears of cathartic sorrow and restorative joy each day of my journey.  Instead, I only moaned, and not because my heart ached.  It was because my feet did and my back did and so did the still-open wounds all around my hips”.  While we might not all go on thousand-mile hiking trips to sort out our emotional pain, this insight applies on more levels than one.  When trying to solve those big life questions, our seemingly small needs tend to fall to the wayside.  Are we giving our bodies all of the nutrients it needs?  Are we remembering to drink water?  Are we getting enough exercise?  Enough rest?  From this highly personalized memoir, I think we can all learn something about what it means to grieve and how to take care of ourselves in the process.  An absolute great read, I will be happy to give this book to readers on World Book Night America!

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