#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone.
Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
After her mother’s death sent her on a downward spiral, Cheryl Strayed left behind her failed marriage and her increasingly self-destructive existence to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, which traverses the United States from south to north. Strayed’s dazzling memoir of her life-changing adventures topped the New York Times bestsellers list and attracted Hollywood’s attention. (Reese Witherspoon plays writer on-screen, with a screenplay by Nick Hornby.) A searingly honest portrait of loss, courage, and renewal, Wild is the kind of book that inspires you to take risks and live life with more passion and gratitude.
In the summer of 1995, at age 26 and feeling at the end of her rope emotionally, Strayed resolved to hike solo the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,663-mile wilderness route stretching from the Mexican border to the Canadian and traversing nine mountain ranges and three states. In this detailed, in-the-moment re-enactment, she delineates the travails and triumphs of those three grueling months. Living in Minneapolis, on the verge of divorcing her husband, Strayed was still reeling from the sudden death four years before of her mother from cancer; the ensuing years formed an erratic, confused time "like a crackling Fourth of July sparkler." Hiking the trail helped decide what direction her life would take, even though she had never seriously hiked or carried a pack before. Starting from Mojave, Calif., hauling a pack she called the Monster because it was so huge and heavy, she had to perform a dead lift to stand, and then could barely make a mile an hour. Eventually she began to experience "a kind of strange, abstract, retrospective fun," meeting the few other hikers along the way, all male; jettisoning some of the weight from her pack and burning books she had read; and encountering all manner of creature and acts of nature from rock slides to snow. Her account forms a charming, intrepid trial by fire, as she emerges from the ordeal bruised but not beaten, changed, a lone survivor.
I too am a solo, female pct hiker. I went to the trail to escape and instead found myself. The trail was marriage and grief counselor, solitude and companion. I enjoyed another account of self-discovery like my own experience. May all who seek the healing power of the wilderness find what they are looking for.
I was a bit worried this was going to be a type of hikers "how to" but it was not. From the first couple of pages I was drawn in and found myself tearing up after the first couple of chapters. This book gave me empowerment to do anything, and through life's struggles we grow in different ways. The author's voice is not afraid to say it how it is.
I am neither a hiker nor a real active person but I truly enjoyed this story. I love memoirs with a happy ending and ones that take reader on a journey from childhood acceptance into reality. I admire your courage and tenacity to hike the pct. thank you