Over the Memorial Day holiday I devoured Wild by Cheryl Strayed, her memoir about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995. Still reeling from her mother's death four years before, her divorce, and a string of bad decisions and relationships Strayed decides to hike the PCT where she hopes to reconnect with herself and find the person she once was.
Although this is a memoir that hikers and outdoorsmen will enjoy, I am neither of these things, and still found it hard to put down. Wild is very well written - immediately engaging me. Perhaps it helped that Strayed was also a novice hiker, never having undertaken anything like this before. Although she had done some research about her trip and purchased supplies from REI, the actual hike on the PCT was a new experience - and one that I was amazed she decided to undertake let alone be successful at.
Strayed enjoyed her time on the PCT which proved to be a life changing experience. Her recollections of her childhood and other events that shaped her life are expertly interspersed with the events of her time on the trail and give more meaning to why she decided to undertake this endeavor.
Wild is one of the best memoirs I have read in 2012, and certainly worthy of the praise it has been receiving.