Reviews & Recommendations

Hidden Gem: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed

wild book coverThe adage goes “You can’t judge a book by its cover”, but with “Wild” I found that not to be true; the book’s cover is the perfect image to reflect the content.  After reading the first few paragraphs of chapter one, I was hooked into her descriptive situation, wondering how she could navigate out of this, (and similar incidents throughout her story) that continued to arouse my curiosity.  You’ll find the author in a predicament where most of us would just give up, although Ms. Strayed always seems to unexpectedly find her motivation to move on.

A quick synopsis of the story: This young woman has to deal with the death of her mother (to whom she is so fondly attached), the collapse of her marriage, and a heroin addiction (that could suck any of us into the Black Hole without hope of escape).  To confront these simultaneous challenges, she impulsively decides to hike a 1000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from southern California to the Oregon/Washington border.  Totally unprepared for this undertaking, Ms. Strayed continually faces obstacles she never considered.

For me, the one unexpected pleasure in reading this book is that the author writes with a ‘masculine dialogue’ about her sexual encounters, drug use and other confrontations she finds herself in (for which she received many criticisms from male book reviewers!).  If any reference to gender could be eliminated from this book, one would think it was composed by a man.  Very refreshing!!  I hope you will find this tome as compelling a read as I did.

Find the book in the Cal Maritime Library collection.

Review by Larry Stevens

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