The book Wild is about a woman Cheryl Strayed who ventures on the hike of the Pacific Crest Trail in the wake of the demise of her mother. It is a continuous wilderness trail that goes from the Mexican border in California to just beyond the Canadian border along the crest of 9 mountain ranges. It is a 1000 miles in a straight line, but double that when walked. She is ill-prepared, young and impulsive. She undertakes the arduous journey on an impulse and absolutely no sense of purpose. As they say, its about the journey not the destination, the journey changes her.
The book celebrates the unabashed love of a daughter for her mother. Something I am oh so guilty of! My mother is my most favourite person in the whole wide world. As in, I like my mother not just because she is my mother, but as a person too. What Cheryl does and undergoes when her mother passes away is overwhelming. She literally throws her whole life away. Time and again, she keeps dipping into the fact just how much her mother loved her children and how much of an epic presence she was, Truth be told, there was a point, where I even thought, when I am left without my mother, will I be as devastated as Cheryl was? Maybe not. And I hope not. Being so devastated, would need something monumental like hiking through the Pacific Crest Trail to recover.
The book celebrates the love of a child for her mother. I remember when my paternal grandmother had passed away, Papa had said 'I have no one to call bou (the Odia word for mother). I do not have a mother.'
Ah well, I digress from the book.
The book keeps going back into instances in Cheryl's life. Incidents that shaped her. I thoroughly enjoyed those glimpses into her past. Those portions are way more well written than some of the details of her journey in the first half of the book. Some of the narratives of the details of the trail were a bit tedious. I felt there was a bit too much detail. There is a description of Lake Crater, which took my breath away! I had never known the details of the lake, but the way she has gone about describing it, compelled me to Google the same. It is one of my wish list to visit the lake one day.... God willing. Another item, that the book made me add on my wishlist was undertake a hiking holiday with my family. Maybe once the kids are big enough to walk a longish duration but not big enough to be encumbered by the burden of studies, I would love to spend at least a couple of days walking with them. *Sighs*
The book picks up pace towards the last quarter. She is funnier and her anecdotes are narrated with way more suspense. In the end as expected, she becomes philosophical. I quite liked the philosophy. It is simple. It is rational.
The book is definitely worth picking up. So much so, as I finish writing this, I have decided to read the book again :)