After reading book that made me cry my eyes out, someone had asked my why I liked reading books like that. I never really thought about it before. And then I thought about some of my favorite books I ever read. What did they all have in common? I put them down and felt something indescribable radiating throughout my very core. It’s almost like a shift in thinking takes place as soon as you close the last page. Whether it be a John Green novel that I felt my heart shatter, or Eat Pray Love that time and time again showed me I was in control of tomorrow, or even the Divergent series, that left me feeling completely enthralled and entertained in a world I could never imagine.
I don’t think I have ever had the same feeling as I had when turning the last page over of Wild by Cheryl Strayed. As a young 20-something, Cheryl lost her mother, the most important person in her life, to cancer and watched her whole life unravel while she self-destructed. Eventually, she found herself unrecognizable. She was no longer the person her mother thought she was nor was she the person she had ever wanted to become.
One day when waiting in line at a grocery store she saw a book about the Pacific Crest trail, picked it up to read the cover, and put it down and left the store. Seven months with very little preparation, she takes the first steps of her thousand mile hike.
And so begins the riveting memoir of Cheryl Strayed. Between encounters with bears, rattle snacks, foxes and her aching feet are flashbacks to her life that eventually brought her to where she currently stood. The memoir reads more like an inspiring novel and less like a self-help book that you may assume it would be about.
She takes on the impossible and when the going gets tough, she proves she’s always tougher, smarter, stronger than whatever life and this journey throw at her. The story-telling in this book completely hooks you. The words jump off the page and make you feel exactly what she’s feeling, rooting her on the entire time.
The Reese Witherspoon adaptation is a great representation of the book. As always, I’ll have to recommend the book first, but Witherspoon’s portrayal of Strayed’s words and emotions is on point. It’s easy to connect to the character, in both the book and the movie.
If you’re looking to be inspired, entertained and fully engaged with a good read, Wild is the perfect book for you.
Have you read Wild? What do you think is better, the book or the movie?