One thing that I love about being a teacher is that I get to READ in the summer. I love to read so much that it sometimes is a problem. In fact, this past week, I was at my cabin in Oregon without service and I read 4 books. FOUR. It felt amazing. T Money makes fun of me because I can, truly, sit in a corner and read with six nieces and nephews running around crazy right in front of me and I won't even notice when I'm deep into a book. I walked into numerous book stores in Oregon and my little book-heart fluttered. I love books. I love reading. Anywho, let's chat about books, shall we?
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Where do I even begin?
I have wanted to read this book for awhile and I just haven't gotten around to it, so I am happy that I had the motivation to read it.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars simply because it was an enjoyable read. There were many things that I did not like about her, but I thought the book was quite interesting and intriguing and an overall pleasant read. I found myself reading each page slower than normal because I wanted to take it all in.
1. Cheryl admits to her own transgressions and while she's remorseful, she doesn't seem ashamed. Is this a sign of strength or a character flaw?
Ugh, Cheryl. She drives me nuts. I think she is incredibly selfish for cheating on her husband numerous times and then divorcing him when he wanted to make it work, I thought she was so stupid for continuously doing heroin, and I think she was incredibly oblivious to even go on the Pacific Crest Trail. She had no business getting on that trail in the first place. (Side note: I recently read an article that was stating that this novel has had a negative affect on the PCT. Numerous amounts of people are hiking it now, so it is incredibly crowded, women are getting on the trail hiking all alone trying to "find themselves" whom, like Cheryl, have no business being on the trail. This has resulted in lots of deaths and near-death experiences for these women now, which is ridiculous, in my opinion. If anything, reading this book and watching this movie made me NOT want to hike it, and especially alone. And I love to hike!) I think that we all do things in the life that are stupid, and Cheryl recognizes her stupidity in her transgressions and other dealings, but she isn't ashamed. I think that's okay. The things that we do in life, stupid or not, shape us to become who we want or need to be. And that's exactly what she allowed herself to do, which I think is good. You have to allow yourself to accept your mistakes in order to move on, and I think she did just that.
2. How did being on the Pacific Coast Trail on her mother's 50th birthday help Cheryl to heal the wound left by her mother's death?
I think that the trail allowed Cheryl to truly re-evaluate her life. Being in nature does that to a person. Cheryl was able to truly grieve her mother's death while being out in the middle of nowhere with no one around. She was able to recognize her true feelings and grieve in a healthier manner than, say, doing heroin repeatedly.
3. Does the hike help Cheryl get over Paul? Why, or why not?
I don't think Cheryl ever stops loving Paul, but I do think that the hike allows her to move on with her life, which is what needed to be done. Che
4. We learn that Cheryl chose her own last name. Did she choose well? What was your reaction to hearing she chose it herself?
I didn't understand it. Truly. I mean, I understand why she chose Strayed. But I don't understand why she felt the need to change her last name. But, then again, she is an odd person who had a lot of issues to deal with, so I don't understand many of it. With that being said, I think Strayed was a perfect choice for her. She knew she was lost and she needed to find herself, and that is what she did.
5. Have you seen the movie interpretation of the book? Did you enjoy one more than the other? Why?
I have seen the movie and read the book. I thought that the movie was quite boring. They left out her stepfather in the movie, who I thought that was a big part of the book. I think that the movie tried too hard at being "artsy" that it took away from the raw-ness of her trials. The movie would have been even worse if I hadn't read the book first, so I can't imagine anyone trying to watch the movie because there are so many things that happen throughout the novel that help you understand the movie. I enjoyed the book more than the movie.
I found myself finally liking Cheryl and who she was, rather than just being annoyed with her decisions in the beginning. I think she realizes, while on the trail, the stupidity of her decisions and allows herself to grow, which is truly inspiring. I love that she connects with nature and it definitely reminded me why I love to be outside hiking. It is truly amazing what the outdoors can do for your soul, and she definitely shows that in this novel.
While I was reading the book, I actually had the opportunity to visit Crater Lake while in Oregon. It was amazing to read her experience around a similar time that I was there. No pictures, writing, or anything can beat the serenity, calmness, and beauty that you see while at Crater Lake (post coming soon!).
Overall, this is a great read. You will feel many emotions while reading it: frustration, anger, confusion, love, grief, sympathy, empathy, and peace. While many of us cannot connect hiking hundreds of miles alone through nature (Hey, I hike 5 miles alone!), I think it is a novel that we can all relate to because of the facets of issues that she has to allow herself to grieve over.
I love participating in Bonnie's Online Book Club. I am trying to get her to do an online one and an ACTUAL book club where we meet once a month. If I were to do a book club where we meet in person, would anyone be interested? :)
Also, I am going to try (key word: try) to start doing some book reviews on here. I have my hiking posts and temple challenge posts, why not try another (I start a lot of projects that I don't finish.) I probably won't review every book that I read, but maybe the ones that I have a strong opinion either way about. Do I have other book lovers out there? Will this even get page views? Haha.
Come find me and be my friend on GoodReads!
Have you read Wild? What did you think? Tell me your thoughts!
What are some other books that you would recommend? (Not that I don't have a list of about 50 books at this current moment.)