author: Cheryl Strayed
genre: Non-fiction, memoir, loss, personal journey
suggested by: BuzzFeed
dates read: May 6th – May 7th
review: 5 out of 5 stars
summary: Cheryl Strayed is newly divorced, still mourning the death of her beloved mother, and searching for herself. She decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, a more than 2,000 mile hike that goes from the Mexico/California border to Canada. Feeling like she’s lost not only her family and her marriage but also herself, she embarks on the journey hoping to find herself again. She writes of her adventure, the people she meets, and the many thrilling, scary, and mundane things she experiences along the way.
personal thoughts: Another one that had my attention from the beginning. She is (in my opinion) a phenomenal writer and her journey is inspiring. There are some laugh-out-loud parts, and parts that made me tear up. The loss of her mother, and the way she describes her emotions through the whole experience was especially poignant to me. It is inspiring (and by her description, hilarious) to see someone who was woefully unprepared finish such a physically exhausting trek. I will mention that the book is not entirely PG but I think I’ll be adding this to the short list of books I want to own.
“My solo three-month hike on the Pacific Crest Trail has many beginnings. There was the first, flip decision to do it, followed by the second, more serious decision to actually do it, and then the long third beginning, composed of weeks of shopping and packing and preparing to do it.” p. 9
“She’d been so transparent and effusive and I so inquisitive that we’d already covered everything. I knew that her loved for me was vaster than the ten thousand things and also the ten thousand things beyond that.” p. 19
“each day was an eternity, one stacked up on the other, a cold clarity inside a deep haze.” p. 21
“Alone had always felt like an actual place to me, as if it weren’t a state of being, but rather a room where I could retreat to be who I really was.” p. 119
“Her death. . . cut me short at the very height of my youthful arrogance. It had forced me to instantly grow up and forgive every motherly fault at the same time that it kept me forever a child, my life both ended and begun in that premature place where we’d let off.” p. 267