Friday reads: It’s WILD out there

Social Media Coordinator Danielle Perlin writes about one of her new favorite books, Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. 

Before I knew Wild was going to be a movie, I downloaded the book on my nook last July immediately after I read the summary. I was intrigued, as it was about a girl (approximately my age), who goes on a wild adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) to find herself after she went through some traumatic times. Little did I know that this book would become so meaningful to me.


After I found out Wild was made into a movie, I decided it was the right time to read the book; after all, I always enjoy reading books that are made into films (i.e., Divergent, Gone Girl [which I absolutely loved!], The Lovely Bones, etc.).

Gone Girl

Immediately, I was absorbed in Strayed’s story. When she was 22 years old, her 45-year-old mother died from cancer. Strayed grew up with her brother, Lee, and sister, Karen in rural Minnesota; their mom left their abusive father when Strayed was 6 years old. Eventually, Strayed’s mom, Bobbi, married Eddie, who taught Strayed how to build a fire, canoe, and live with nature. But after Bobbi died, Cheryl’s family fell apart; Cheryl’s young marriage did as well. She found herself completely and utterly alone, from what I gathered when reading the book.

On the PCT, she talks about the people she meets, how much money she has (at one point, she was basically down to $0), books that she reads on the trail, her thoughts as she walked, and her gigantic backpack that she calls Monster. She had an admirable amount of courage to complete the PCT, despite the setbacks she went through; the PCT cleared her head of the mistakes she made in her life, and the PCT taught her how to live life again.

Wild is the story of a woman who went into the wilderness carrying a pack that was literally too heavy for her to carry,” said Strayed in a YouTube video. “And I realized, that’s really what Wild is about. It’s about bearing the unbearable. And that’s true in all these different ways.”

When she sits on a white bench eating an ice cream cone, where she finished her journey, she began crying. I was definitely teary-eyed upon finishing the epic tale as well. While reading the book, Strayed takes you, the reader, along with her on an incredibly personal path of self-love. I finished the book, both in awe of her and happy for her, knowing that she worked so hard to complete her 1700 kilometer hike on the PCT, which took her 94 days. At the end, you find out what a couple of her trail friends named her; I won’t spoil it for you, but know that it’ll make you smile.

Not only do I admire Cheryl Strayed’s amazing tale in Wild, but I also admire her writing. The way she weaves in the past and the present fits perfectly; I didn’t feel that the writing was choppy at all. I have yet to see the movie, but I do plan on seeing it in the near future. If you’re looking for a book about a personal, brave, and daring young lady trying to find her way in the world, I highly recommend this book.  “

Friday reads: It’s WILD out there