This is the story of a young woman whose apparently successful life quickly falls apart from the inside out.
Cheryl Strayed, the name used by the author, was the second major work to be selected by Oprah's Book Club V.2, meaning it had some legs behind it, if the author should have found herself going astray.
That she had already gone astray was quite evident after her Mom died when she was a young married woman who believed she had everything together. In reality, she didn't. It didn't take long for her "family" to scatter to the four winds, leaving her with nothing but memories.
Even her job rating and satisfaction went downhill to the point that she knew she had to do something, so one day she decided to rebuild herself and heal herself by trekking along the Pacific Crest Trail with no experience in hiking or trekking.
On her way, Strayed was to experience just about every type of mishap a neophyte could have as she made her way from California's Mojave Desert starting point to the ending point in Washington State.
Strayed made it a firm point that she was doing this alone, even though about all she knows about trekking and hiking was that you did it by walking and that it wasn't exactly the same kind of walking you did on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles.
She started out on her way and as she moved way ever north, Strayed began to find the peace and healing she so desperately needed. By the time she had completed the trek, not only was she an expert trekker, but she was also a health person again ready to move ahead with her life.
Just getting to that point required more than pulling out the plastic and buying the latest camping and hiking gear (though it did help), but you also had to learn such basic survival skills as learning what was edible between the flora and fauna of the Mojave and to the north. Granted, grubs aren't the most tasty-looking dinner, however, when you are still two days march, depending on weather and conditions, from the nearest trading shop, then it's grubs for dinner.
That's just one of the obstacles that had to be faced. What happened when the GPS box went out and you had to live with a real live compass and map?
Granted, it's not often, but this type of trip isn't often as it took four years to come together, however, when she was finished, Strayed was ready to move on with her life.
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