Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Wild / Book Review

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Rating: «««
Cheryl Strayed had lost her mother, and at the same time she lost herself, infidelity, drugs, would lead her to a point in her life where she doesn’t have many options. But like a sign she discovers the book of the Pacific Crest Trail, California, and she decided to hike it. She has no experience or training, but she would start her journey on the Mojave Desert, through California and Oregon, ending on The Gods Bridge.
My Thoughts:
I gave this book three stars and this is why, the storytelling was good, same as the descriptions, I could picture the pain, the fear, the burden and exhaustion of the journey, while at the same time, I had this big image on my mind of all those beautiful landscapes.
The characters were interesting and complex, liking some better than others but I must say that I had big issues with this book.
Maybe it was the fact that it was a real story, and of course you already knew the end of the book before reading it, if not the book wouldn’t be possible, you know that she did it, she hike the PCT and that she found herself in the process and healed, since she didn’t die from a overdose and finally became a writer. So there was no twist on the story.
But my major problem was Cheryl herself. First thing, I think what she did was admirable; a probe of strength, and yes, probably not all the people would do it. I certainly wouldn’t but that’s because I’m not that reckless, and I love myself too much to risk my life that way.
Setting aside that she was an admirable woman for overcome the trials she found on the road, I think she was kind of a coward and took the easy way. I’m not one to judge her, I mean, everyone is free to do what they want, but I couldn’t feel empathy for her, I couldn’t relate with her. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to lose your mom, or someone you love deeply, but I work in a school, and even when it’s a private school, you learn a little bit about the kids’ stories, and their sufferings. Some of them had lost a parent or two, or a brother, some of them live only with their grandparents, there are lots of situations that would leave you heartbroken. Still, these are kids from ages between 12 and 18, and you don’t see them having sex with strangers, or doing drugs. Most of the kids are working hard to be a better person, they want to do something with their life because that way they would honor the person they lost.
Cheryl was 22 when her mother died, she was a young woman, but a woman still, a grown up, and what’s even more, a college woman, someone with certain level of intelligence, in fact she was really intelligent since it was mention in the book, still, she acted so immature. The way she decided to live her life, she said she loved her mom so much, and instead she goes and do all those things instead of honor her mom’s memory, and get her degree as her mom wanted so much. She had a loving husband who supported her when she needed it the most, and she betrayed that confidence.
And then, she decided to get back on track doing this crazy trail, all by herself, risking even more her life, with all those dangers, yes it was admirable, but why to risk her life in that way?
I know most people would disagree with me, and see only the admirable part, the part in which she did something extraordinary, in which she challenged herself and take this road, and do it all by herself, but in the big picture, she did it for the wrong reasons, she never stop to realize how in danger she was. She was afraid, and decided to evade the suffering and just had momentary pleasures, instead of actually living, which that’s why she was so mad with her stepfather, and her siblings, they continue with their life, but she didn’t she was trapped in her past, assuming a role that it wasn’t for her, and then when things went wrong losing herself in sex and drugs.

So here is my conflict, I admire her, and at the same time it really makes me angry her attitude. I admire the courage she shows during her hiking, I would quit the first day, I couldn’t imagine losing a toenail that way, or carry that Monster backpack, and the snakes! For Christ sake, I saw a snake once on a road near my house and I cried all evening, and if I can, I still avoid that road. But my point here is that I didn’t like the Cheryl between 22 and 26, but I totally admire the Cheryl on the road, and the fact that she finally found herself, and work hard to become a writer as she wanted, and the woman her mother wanted her to be.

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