"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

06 February 2015

2015 Book Review #4: Wild

I received this book from my husband for Christmas.

It's a memoir by the woman who hiked, alone, the Pacific Crest Trail (Mojave, California to the Bridge of the Gods in Oregon).  Of course being a hiker, I wanted to read this book.  I still haven't seen the movie. I've had three friends who've seen it.  Two said "thumbs down' to the movie and one said it was "Great".  I'll wait until it appears on Netflix! 


Cheryl was raised by her mom and stepdad.  Her biological father was emotionally and physically abusive along with being an alcoholic and left them when Cheryl and her older sister and younger brother were very young.  She was raised by a loving mother who was always poor.  Cheryl started going to college and married at a very young age to a man named Paul.  She divorced him shortly after her beloved mother died at a very young age (45) of cancer.  Cheryl's life...and family....fell apart.

She experimented with drugs, alcohol and sexual partners.

She changed her name to "strayed" because she could identify with the meaning of the word. This happened after her divorce was final.

She decides to deal with her grief, and "find her self" by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995 at the age of 26.

She hiked a little over 1100 miles.


Eh. It was NOT as gripping (in my opinion) as many of the reviews gave it.  Nor was it all that well written.  The beginning of the story was downright slow and depressing. But then again, her childhood was rather depressing so......

I found my self wanting to love this book because of the hiker in me.  Yet.....it was not that thrilling to me.  It was interesting to read about the other hikers she met and she did an amazing job with each person's description.  She also described the trail very well.......I could really "see" the differences between the trail in California compared to in Oregon.

My favorite part of the book was the last chapter.

Yet, again, it was a bit sad to me because she is searching for meaning to her life I think.  Yes, she had to deal with the loss of her mother, her family, her spouse/marriage.  She never had a warm fuzzy relationship with her biological father.  I get all that.

Yet....she needs God.  And no one will have everlasting peace until they know God.

It was thrilling to read that she was able to let go....to let her mother go....to embrace what life has to offer...yet without God...it just feels empty.

I hope she is having a good life.  And I hope the author finds God at some point.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older (because of language and certain drug/sexual scenes).  It is easy enough for a 12 year old to read though.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 7.

It gets a 9 for hiking description. :)


Melanie said...

Thanks for the review. It is sad to hear people describe that they feel lonely and are "searching" but look everywhere but to the cross.

Simply Linda said...

I agree with Melanie. --I do want to see the movie though....thanks for the review. Blessings

Susanne said...

I haven't heard a lot good of the movie either, but hadn't heard anything about the book.