“A gritty memoir and a 1,000 mile journey.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
This book is a raw, gritty read about a woman who decides to hike solo for over 1000 miles from California to Oregon while dealing with the grief of losing her mother to cancer and going through a divorce. The writing is superb and the story actually inspired me to go backpacking. I struggled with some of the grittier details and the harsh language and because of that I cannot wholeheartedly recommend this book to people such as my mother, or grandmother. It is not a story for the faint of heart or squeamish.
At various times throughout reading the book I vacillated between three and five stars. I didn’t anticipate the emotional response I would have as I finished the final few pages. As I began reading about Cheryl, a broken miserable and often despicable person who both lost and abandoned every good thing in her life before beginning her journey on the Pacific crest Trail, I didn’t know if I would be able to respect her as a person. Extramarital affairs in books and movies are a no-fly zone for me. I don’t like hearing about it, I don’t feel empathetic for the adulterous person. As her journey began and her story unfold and I found myself compelled to listen to what she had to say. I don’t believe that her betrayal(s) was in any way excusable but I began to see her as a multifaceted individual with layers of complication, hurt, and abuse that led to her decisions.