I just finished and really enjoyed Wild, a memoir by Cheryl Strayed. From Goodreads "A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker."
An engaging story of survival and healing, Strayed managed to keep me engaged over the entire 1100 mile journey. I laughed, I cried and I cheered Cheryl on her journey. She is not self-conscious about what she reveals yet it never felt like navel gazing. I think anyone who has needed to heal a hole in their heart will relate to this memoir.
As someone who loves yoga I enjoyed this memoir (not as much as Wild). Dederer does a good job of using various yoga poses as metaphor for events in her life. For any mom who has felt the competitive pressure that confronts many modern day families you will laugh out loud at many parts. Not easy being a perfect mom.
I was more interested in her adult life than her memories of childhood and did get a bit bored midway because I'd hoped for more yoga. As I read I underlined many words that were unfamiliar to me. Perhaps it is my communications background where the goal was to find language that was precise and easily understood. Sentences like those below felt pretentious- who speaks like this- and distracted me from the story.
- Nonetheless I was experiencing a severe case of anhedonia
- a long abstruse to-do list
- It read like false syllogism (used twice withing three pages)
- He and I communicated by means of email, little semaphore signals..
- where rain was the sky's lingua franca
- in the weird interstices of suburbia
Do you read memoirs? Do you like to read about famous people or regular sorts? Any recommendations?