Ahh, another week, another book!
After reading so many other bloggers’ reviews of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, I knew I’d have to add it to my list. Before purchasing it, I read the back just to make sure it was a book I might actually be interested in. After reading the short synopsis, I knew it was a book I’d be interested in. It’s a memoir, and the story actually reminds me a lot of Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer. I loved both the book and the movie, which follow the adventure of the young Chris McCandless.
I loved the book the entire way through, and enjoyed experiencing Cheryl’s trials and tribulations along with her. First things first, I’m acknowledging that Cheryl’s life growing was not easy. It’s quite obvious that her family life was difficult, and she suffered a lot from the negative effects. Strayed’s father openly abused her mother and his children, and soon after left. As a result, Cheryl and her two other siblings grew up poor with no father.
I liked that Cheryl didn’t acknowledge this as a necessarily negative aspect of her childhood. She had a very close relationship with her mother; who always made it clear that although the family was poor money-wise, they were “rich in love.” It seems slightly cliche, but it’s true.
Despite setbacks, Cheryl attended college alongside her mother, and the two strengthened their bond as a result. At the beginning of the novel, Cheryl is coping with the reality that her mother is fighting a losing battle with cancer.
It’s not fair for me to say this, as I’ve never been (and hope to never be) in such a situation as Cheryl’s, but I don’t think I would be able to run away and leave my sister behind following a death in the family. Cheryl leaves behind her two younger siblings (who she lost touch with during her mother’s fight) and decides to traverse the Pacific Coast Trail. She travels far from home in Minnesota and begins walking the trail completely unprepared, but with a strong mindset.
She says, “I simply did not let myself become afraid.” Think about that…we can do anything as long as we don’t allow ourselves to fear the results.
Cheryl’s reaction and actions following her mother’s death are questionable at best, and are not proper coping mechanisms. She acknowledges this, by saying “I had to change to the person I used to be,” but I was surprised to find that she reverts back to her unhealthy ways many a time. By the end, it seems as though she’s learned her lessons.
She encounters many struggles along the way due to her lack of preparation, but never loses hope. Maybe that’s why I admire her story so much, because I can’t picture myself accomplishing all that she did.
“How wild it was, to let it be.”
And now for that side of oatmeal! I finished the book the afternoon of Friday’s long run, and for breakfast, I was craving oatmeal. So, I took my time and cooked up a hot bowl on the stove.
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup vanilla coconut milk
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- cinnamon to taste
- mashed banana