Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wild - Cheryl Strayed

This months book in Bon's Book Club  was Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

I really enjoyed this book. It doesn't really have a plot that make you want to keep going, its something else in the book, maybe Cheryl's determination on the trail, that makes you want to read to the very end.
Wild is the true story of Cheryl Strayed who had lost her way. After her mother passed away at 45, a ruined marriage, and some encounters with drugs and an aborted pregnancy, Cheryl decided to hike the Pacific Coast Trail - a trail that goes from the boarder of Mexico to the boarder of Canada. While she hikes she comes across some physical challenges as well as mental while trying to find out what her life is really about.

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?
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?
3. Does the hike help Cheryl get over Paul? Why, or why not?
4. We learn that Cheryl chose her own last name. Did she choose well? What was your reaction to hearing she chose it herself?
5. Have you seen the movie interpretation of the book? Did you enjoy one more than the other? Why?

1|| While reading the book I kept thinking, 'Cheryl.. why!? Seriously?' it was just one thing after another. Cheating on her husband doing drugs and being so unkind at times to her mother and siblings, I wondered how she could be happy with herself. I knew that it would eat at me if I ever did anything close to that. With my past mistakes I can understand why she wouldn't be ashamed and how it could be a sign of strength. If you make a mistake that can change your life for the worst and it puts you in a bad place, you have a choice to let it take over you and let everything spiral downward. Or you can take the high road, learn from it and become a better person. In Cheryl's case, everything brought her to her hike on the PCT where she had the chance to teach herself that she has control of her life. She can change it. If your transgressions make you a better person in the end, how can you be ashamed of something that shaped you into the best self you have become?

2|| The wonderful thing about nature and being alone is there some kind of special peace that comes along with it. I'm sure its just the fresh air and a clear mind, but I think that Cheryl had the chance to realized her mom tried as hard as she could. Since becoming a mom, I have realized things my mom did for me when I was younger and I appreciate her than I did before. Once you go through a struggle and take a little walk in someone else's shoes you can start to realize why people do the things they do. As for her mom doing drugs occasionally, Cheryl really can't be too upset about that. She experimented as well, and her mom was getting out of an abusive marriage. Yes, she shouldn't have done that while having kids to attend to, but come one. Give the lady a break. (Not that I'm saying if I'm having a rough time I'm just going to start using, but I feel like Bobbi had enough reasons that you can't be too mad at her.) P.s. Eating her bones... I just couldn't handle it!

3|| I think the hike helped Cheryl realized the real relationship that she had with Paul. That she loved him, but that she couldn't be with him the way that he wanted. I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. Therefore I believe that Paul came into her life to save her. He saved her from the drugs, saved her many times on the trail, saved her when her mom died. And in the end he was there to be a friend. I do have to say, poor Paul though.

4|| While I was reading and came upon the part where she chose her name and thought it couldn't be a better fit. When you're left with no family, hardly any friends, a husband that you are cheating on; you have strayed. You need to get back to what you know, and that's what the PCT did for her. She was able to find herself again and find out what she really wanted!

5|| Ugh. That's all I have to say about the movie. I was really excited to watch it because I love Reese Witherspoon, and I was really interested to see how they did the movie with all the jumping around in the book. But I did not like it. At all. I felt like if they told the story of her growing up and lead up to the trail and maybe did some flashbacks every now and then it would've been better. I was also not a fan of seeing Reese's ladies so much (you know that I'm talking about)
The movie's producers were the same as Dallas Buyers Club, which I wasn't the biggest fan of either, and it definitely had the same dark feeling to it. Maybe I'm just not cultured enough to really enjoy that type of film.

1 comment:

  1. Love your review April and I'm so glad you read along! I totally agree with her eating her mom's bones- I was in shock when I read that!

    I agree with you about Paul... I think I felt for him the most throughout the book. He just seemed like such a stand up guy and Cheryl treated him like garbage. I think that was probably the hardest thing for me to forgive her on. The heroin, the abortion, the mean comments to her mom didn't compare to the way she treated him in their marriage. Now that I've finished the book I really want to see the movie. I am home alone tonight and thought about watching it but I think I'll wait for Greg and watch it tomorrow- although i am sad you said you didn't like it very much. It does seem like it'd be hard to make a movie out of a book that is basically all about someone's thoughts. I mean, she's alone for the majority of the book...


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