This may be the first book I have read that is on the Oprah Book Club list. While that's not why I read it, it definitely deserves the attention. I've read other books by females who have hikes either the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) or the Appalachian Trail alone and there is just something fascinating about the journey to knowing yourself by hiking eleven-hundred plus miles. Competing with nature (including lack of water, animals, rain and snow), as well as your own thoughts and dealing with the people you meet along the trail, makes it impressive how people thrive on the trail.
Cheryl Strayed's story goes back to her youth, as well as her mother's death while in her early 20's, showing how these challenges brought her to hiking the trail. I enjoyed the stories of the fellow hikes she spends some of the time with, the beauty she experiences and funny (only after the fact) stories, such as losing a shoe down a mountain.
I'm in awe of what she accomplished, and while probably not wanting to ever hike the whole trail, on my own, enjoy living vicariously through her. Maybe someday I'll get a chance to hike some of the trail, and feel a little of the "trail magic."
Good for people who like travel/hiking novels as well as those who like feel-good, female novels.
Rating: 4 out of 5