Monday, April 22, 2013

Book Review: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed, read by Bernadette Dunne

Who hasn't heard of this book at this point? Luckily, someone recommended the audiobook to me, and as I do love memoirs on audio, and I often listen to them while walking, so this seemed exceptionally appropriate.

Cheryl's mother died four years earlier, and she also just got divorced. She is in a bad relationship with a heroin addict, doesn't have much family to speak of (her father hasn't been in her life since she was a small child), and is rather rootless and directionless. One day while in line at REI, she notices a guidebook to hiking the Pacific Coast Trail in California. She fixates on this accomplishment as just what she needs to straighten out her life and her head, and she's pretty right about that. She hikes a good portion of California and all of Oregon with a crazy-heavy pack, very little preparation or money, and an innate sense of trust. She meets interesting characters, has a lot of unique experiences, and does manage along the way to process a lot of her personal issues.

While I did enjoy it very much, Cheryl was 26 in the book, and yet the narrator's voice was very obviously middle-aged. I did eventually get used to it, but I wish they'd used a younger-sounding narrator as it was distracting for the first few hours. The story was pretty great, albeit self-indulgent and at times annoying, but Cheryl is sympathetic and ultimately easy to root for.

I checked this audiobook out of the library.

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