Read Remark Book Review - Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Book Review: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

One-sentence summary:

In this nonfiction book, Cheryl Strayed goes on a grief-fueled hike where she battles nature…and herself.


Could you hear the sarcasm in my summary?

Ohhhhh, great. Yet another book where a woman with enough financial means and no responsibilities goes on a navel-gazing mission of self-love.

Let me stop myself right there. I’ve had to do some navel gazing of my own. I’ve long scorned books like Wild and Eat Pray Love because they just seem so self-indulgent.

But here’s the catch: I recently realized I’m holding these women to a different standard than men.

Yes, I’m playing the gender card. Again. It’s legit, though.

Why is it transcendent for Thoreau to go traipsing through the woods, but silly for Cheryl Strayed?

Why do I feel such sympathy for the ill-fated and ill-prepared Christopher McCandless/Alexander Supertramp in Into the Wild (by Jon Krakauer) when he goes to Alaska, but not for Strayed when she hikes the PCT? They both were disillusioned with life. They both were coming off of extreme grief. They both walked into the wilderness with little more than guidebooks, a few supplies (or in Strayed’s case, a LOT of supplies), and naivety.

Time for me to rethink things and appreciate her journey into the mountains and into herself.

I read Wild because Lorelei did on the Gilmore Girls revival on Netflix. I’m not lying.

I’ve long known about the book and even watched the (excellent) movie. When I saw it on Gilmore Girls, too, the universe was telling me to just read it already.

I’ve heard that there actually is a Wild effect now in the aftermath of the book and movie, like what was depicted in Gilmore Girls.

The story seems to have sparked something in a lot of people. That wandering spirit, yearning to leave the grind behind and reconnect to something.

Strayed doesn’t shy away from detailing her pitfalls, both on and off the trail. She is a willing participant (and sometimes cause) of many of her dramas, and she admits it freely.

It’s remarkable that she was able to get through the trail. There are several parts where, envisioning myself in her blood-soaked shoes, I would have wanted to quit.

Makes me want to go for a hike … just a small one.