Saturday, May 5, 2012

Guest Review: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I'd like to welcome Frishta Aslami who has stopped by to share a lovely book review she's written for us!

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: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

Guest Review by Frishta Aslami:

Borrowed from a friend.

Wild is the story of a woman, who no longer feels desire in her heart after the death of her mother. Cheryl Strayed, the author of Wild, whom at the age of twenty two, experienced the sudden death of her mother due to cancer and witnessed the subsequent disintegration of her family. The stress of being unable to keep her siblings together made her crave for a change in life. After the death of her mother she ended her marriage with a man she loved, and slipped into drug use. Four years of her life was a series of disappoints. “I was crying over all of it”, she writes, “over the sick mire I’d made of my life since my mother died; over the stupid existence that had become my own. I was not meant to be this way, to live this way, to fail so darkly.” Nothing made sense to her any longer, not even her own life. 

Wild is Cheryl’s personal journey which she started from the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) that begins at the US Mexico border, through deserts and snowcapped mountains, California and Oregon, to the Canadian border. When she turned twenty six the idea of hiking got her interested when she read the back cover of a book about the Pacific Crest Trail. The book talks about the naturalistic perspective of the author, which readers may understand from a different perspective but some, may find her unsympathetic. Indeed, Cheryl does not want sympathy. Despite suffering aches, pains, loneliness, blistered, bloody feet and persistent hunger along the way, it was this other world that sparkled in her eyes and gave her the confidence to stand on her own.

★★★★★ = Loved It

About Frishta:
Frishta is from Afghanistan and a student at Westminster College Fulton MO.  She is a Senior, majoring in International business with minor in Economics and Leadership.


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