Book Shelf: Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail”

Life is an unexpected journey. Sure, this is a phrase we have all heard before, but sometimes it takes the unexpected to remind us to be grateful for the life we are fortunate to have.

It was the unexpected that sparked the most meaningful adventure Cheryl Strayed would embark on in her life and, lucky for us, she documented this journey in her biography Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Wild is a powerful memoir that tells the story of one woman’s eleven-hundred-mile solo hike from the Mojave Desert to Washington State and the way it healed her.

At the age of twenty-two, Cheryl thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, devastation caused her family to fall apart and her own marriage was inevitably brought to an end. At one point, Cheryl even turned to drug abuse for relief. Reeling from catastrophe and feeling as though she had nothing to lose, four years later she decided she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. With no experience or training, and dependent upon the kindness of strangers she meets along the way, Cheryl’s decision to travel alone through California and Oregon to Washington State was single-handedly the most impulsive decision she had ever made—and the best one at that.

Cheryl’s story is one of promise. With each challenge, bruise and blister from the trail, Cheryl relays how her determination allowed her to overcome each physical and emotional hurdle. While her journey broke her down, it also helps her come to terms with the overwhelming loss she’s endured and her unexpected reactions to it.

Yet the most surprising twist to Cheryl’s memoir comes after it was actually published. By checking Wild out in a local library, the half-sister Cheryl had never met was able to find the author. By giving her journey a voice, Cheryl was able to rebuild the family she once thought that she had lost for good.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail is a reminder to be grateful for what we have and at the same time teaches us how to cope with the things we have lost. Told with remarkable honesty, Cheryl reaches women everywhere with her personal journey and encouraging tale of finding out that the strength she needed was within herself all along. We hope you enjoy reading this one as much as we did.

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