You’ve probably already heard of Wild, a book from Cheryl Strayed. You might have even seen the movie (or only seen the movie). The opinions on this book differ – some love it while others hate it. My friend who thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2016 had a quite interesting opinion (which could also be considered a valid argument) on it – Cheryl didn’t hike even half of the length of the PCT and skipped the entire Sierras – how is she even writing a book about it when there are so many people who did fastest known times etc? Those people should write books about it, if anyone.
Indeed, Heather “Anish” Anderson did write a book about her FKT, and both I and my friend LOVED that book. (I wrote a short review on it HERE.) I can’t recommend that book enough. It was raw, honest, and painfully beautiful account of her journey.
But what about Cheryl Strayed’s Wild? Should that book even exist?
When we were having the debate with my friend, I was able to convince him that the book does have the right to exist – if you read it as a book about how backpacking and the outdoors can help one heal and recollect their life, not a book about the PCT.
That is what I’ll stand behind. Wild is a book for those who want to read about how a journey on her own two legs helped a woman pull herself back together after falling apart. It is not a book about PCT, even though it does paint a nice picture of the trail. It is a book of how the trail taught Cheryl determination, perseverance, and trust. Trust in herself, the trail, and people around it, that is.
It is a book that can be read in one breath – if you don’t expect a book about the Pacific Crest Trail, but a book about a person who probably saved her own life through the trail.