I’ve managed to get myself into one of those predicaments where I’ve got a stack of library books and a schedule that doesn’t lend itself to much reading time, but I’m going to figure it out!
I just finished reading the latest pick from Blanche’s Book Club: “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail” by Cheryl Strayed. Here’s the book’s description:
At 26 Cheryl Strayed was, by her own admission, a total mess. Her beloved mother had just died; she’d broken up her young marriage; she was dating a junkie and was well on her way to becoming one herself.
But Strayed—who adopted that name because it fit her behavior so well—righted herself by setting out on an 1,100-mile hike up the Pacific Crest Trail, from the Mojave Desert to northernmost Oregon. How she did it, and what she learned about life, love, and survival of the emotional and physical sort, is the subject of her moving memoir, Wild.
This book popped onto my to-be-read list after I read “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer last year, and when I saw a friend reading it, she offered to lend it to me. She enjoyed it, and although I didn’t know much about it, I am always a fan of survival-ish books.
Since my dad passed away last year, I have also found a greater appreciation and understanding for books that show the different ways people deal with their grief. I certainly cannot imagine going on a hike alone, period, let alone the Pacific Coast Trail!
I won’t give anything away, but I will say that Strayed didn’t do much to prepare for her journey — she bought most of the right equipment, but she wasn’t physically trained and most of the time, she seemed pretty fearless. It was really an impressive read!
It was a deal I’d made with myself months before and the only thing that allowed me to hike alone. I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave.
A few parts of it had me sobbing, as I found myself relating to so many of her struggles with grief and loneliness. I haven’t hiked on my own, but I’ve camped in the world’s darkest desert… and was scared beyond belief!
I would definitely recommend this book if you’re someone who likes adventure. It’s much less about the actual trail (it talks about the trail plenty) and more about self-discovery.
The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be reading is “Very Nice” by Marcy Dermansky. I hope you all have a great Labor Day weekend!
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