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Cheryl Strayed

In the book world, I am a latecomer to the "Wild" party.  I stayed away for a couple of reasons:  I couldn't relate to the writer's experience--not so much the hike, but how she ended up just escaping her life.  I also have an unearned suspicion (snobbery) about the Oprah book club.

Sometimes you have to be ready for a book.  My life has now been upended enough that Strayed's need to find herself resonated with this middle-aged woman.

The story is about Strayed's 1995 three-month hike along the Pacific Coast Trail.  The memoir has the wisdom of an older self, but the voice puts you back on that trail, almost 20 years ago.  Although she is so young at the time, many will be able to relate to her search for how she came to be in her predicament.  She has people to forgive and events to anchor in a place that allows her to move forward--literally.

She encounters great characters and real challenges.  I couldn't wait to get back to this book each day.

Cheryl Strayed has won many awards and been published in several magazines and newspapers.  She has served as a guest editor for the 2013 Best American Essays.  Wild will be out as a film starring Reese Witherspoon.

About Staff Contributor

Staff contributors are those with the enviable job of reading and loving books.