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Friday, September 15, 2017

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Wild by Cheryl Strayed @CherylStrayed @PRHAudio

NARRATOR: Bernadette Dunne
PUBLISHER: Random House Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: March 20, 2012
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 13 hrs and 6 mins
GENRE: Nonfiction, Autobiography/Memoir, Travel
A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe--and built her back up again.

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State--and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than "an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise." But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.

Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

I was very moved by Strayed’s inspiring tale of personal growth, and I felt her highs and lows as though I were right there with her!

I’ve wanted to read this book for a long time. When I first heard about this young woman who dared to traverse the Pacific Crest Trail (“PCT”) on a solo journey, I was immediately intrigued. She was only 26 years old at the time, and the 1,100 mile hike on the Western coast took her approximately three months. My heart broke as Cheryl talked about the loss of her mother at the tender age of 22, and then the gradual distance that grew between her and her step-dad. Her biological father left when she was just a young child, and he was abusive. Cheryl married at 19, and she completely unravels after her mother’s death. She cheats on her husband, but they have an amicable divorce. Even though they still loved each other, they knew it was better to end it and they stayed friends. When she becomes addicted to heroin, it is her ex who intervenes.

Cheryl learned about the PCT one day while standing in line at a store. She saw a book about the PCT and it left a mark on her. Later, she went back to buy the book. She felt that she had found her calling, that this was something that she was meant to do.

Even though Cheryl made some unwise decisions (who doesn’t?), I loved her gutsy spunk! Doing what she did took a lot of courage and strength, and I cheered her on while listening to this remarkable story. I cannot fathom the physical toil that her body went through, but it seemed therapeutic for her. It was as though the physical pain helped to heal her heart. It was a journey for her soul.

Memorable quote:

"The father's job is to teach his children how to be warriors, to give them the confidence to get on the horse to ride into battle when it's necessary to do so. If you don't get that from your father, you have to teach yourself."

Bernadette Dunne was a good fit for Cheryl’s voice. There were points in the book that I was moved to tears by the pain and despair in Dunne’s voice. At times, I forgot that it wasn’t actually Cheryl telling the story. I think that comment speaks volumes about how authentic Dunne’s narration was. Here is a sample:

4 stars!! It was really good! You should put it on your "To Be Read" list.

This book qualifies as:


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