“I would have given this 5 stars had it not been for a scene involving a horse I really didn't like. Wild is not what it appears to be. I thought it would be a book predominately about hiking the Pacific Trail . . . it was, but then again it wasn't. The writing is flawless. Cheryl is able to write about feelings and emotions in such a way that I totally get her. EXCEPT that I didn't like her for most of the first half.
She came from a really f_ed up family, with a bohemian-ish Mom who wasn't exactly there, but was. In that fall out of that parental rearing Cheryl, whose last name has an interesting origin, grapples with her demons, and she has lots of them.
Her mother dies, leaving her a float in the river of live and Cheryl goes about trying to survive without her in the worst, most self destructive manner.
An odd rescuer comes in the form of a challenge she gives herself, which is to do the Pacific Coast Trail, a hike that spans Mexico to Canada.
Her hike is actually just a backdrop to the internal physco-therapy she perpetuates upon herself. She is ill-equipped for the hike, as evidenced by dawning on a hundred pound monster of a backpack, she calls 'The Monster', but it is her sloppy innocence that finally won me over and had me rooting for her to finish the hike, but more than that, rooting for her to make peace with herself regarding her feelings toward and about her Mom.
It's a good read, one I'm sure most of you will enjoy”
“Tasha, my book club is reading this one. I am going to get it this week. It's a true story about a lady who hiked on her own the Pacific Trail.”UpstateBooklover wrote this review Monday, September 24, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A fantastic true story. I can't imagine a woman backpacking through the wilds for so many days by herself. And, she must have been in so much pain with her feet. I sounds like something everyone should try once - but, I don't think I ever will.”Terry D wrote this review Sunday, September 23, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“IMPORTANT (minor spoiler): A beloved family pet's death is chronicled in this book. As I read it, crying, I called out "Why am I reading this?" If you're someone who can't handle animal deaths in books/movies, you may not want to read this. It wasn't a gentle passing; it was tragic and harrowing.
Otherwise, I'm enjoying it immensely. Her (other) family stories are very interesting, and her hike descriptions are engaging. But if there's another animal death in the book I don't think I'll finish it. ”
“Kind of inspired me to want to go on an adventure, but didn't love the book. It had some interesting parts, but wasn't my cup of tea.”Bernadette G wrote this review Saturday, September 22, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A bit long about her problems but it became more interesting later in the book ”Mary P wrote this review Friday, September 21, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“September 2012 book club selection. I read it in 2 days. 90% of the time it's super interesting and you're kept in the story. There are a few portions where you really wonder why the tone has changed...??”Judith H wrote this review Monday, September 17, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is not just an outdoor adventure story but rather the story of the the author's interior journey to make peace with the death of her mother and the loss of her family. By turns exciting, amusing, and inspiring, this is an exceptional read!”WHPL Readers wrote this review Monday, September 17, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“One of the best memoirs I've read--it grabbed my attention from the first accidental flinging of a boot off the mountain--and I finished reading it in a day. As a memoirist, I feel that Cheryl is skilled at including emotional reactions to all the scenes, but she doesn't drown in them. We learn about her missteps, her grief, and her flawed character, while we root for her success in arriving at her goal in one piece--mostly, except for her feet.
In the local book tour, everyone asked about her feet!
The book as a work of art shows tremendous control and skill--how she weaves through time and brings back themes full circle. I learned about hiking, camping, and ice axes--things I know nothing about. I admired her courage to face real external dangerous forces as well as those within her heart. It is a spiritual journey in every way and we can all learn from it.
I recommend this book to the memoir writers I teach for its skill in creating a long narrative that keeps the attention of the reader.”