Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Yesterday, with a nod to saying goodbye to 2012, I chose to recommend a book that celebrates the past. Today, being the start of a new year, I’ve selected a book whose focus is on looking to the future and making a fresh start. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail is many things. It is an absorbing travel adventure, a remarkable journey of physical and mental endurance, a moving tribute to a loving mother, an uplifting story of healing and hope, and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

Cheryl Strayed grew up in rural Minnesota and married at the young age of 19. But even as she was making a life of her own as a married woman, her relationship with her mother remained extremely close. When her mother died soon after being diagnosed with cancer, Strayed, only 22 at the time, was devastated. And from there she launched into a steady downward spiral.

In the four years following her mother’s death, Strayed moved from place to place unable to put down roots for any length of time. She participated in meaningless one-night stands, witnessed an end to her marriage, and dabbled with heroin. She was lost, just barely staying afloat. Then one day out of the blue she happened upon a book about the Pacific Crest Trail and on a whim bought it. After browsing its pages, a spark ignited within her. Strayed believed that a solo hike on this challenging trail could be her opportunity for transformation, a chance to heal and put the pieces of her life back together.

I hope you find this quick-paced story captivating and inspiring as you accompany Strayed on her remarkable 1,100 mile soul-searching trek. Look for Wild on the VBPL Catalog.

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