I’ve had a policy for a while. If a book I want to read is being made into a movie, I need to read the book first. If I watch the movie first, chances that I read the book are slim to none. And I love reading. And I know books often have nuances that are missing from movies. And I know books, almost always, are better than the movies.
I had no desire to see or read Wild by Cheryl Strayed until I saw it on several lists, the lists that helped me build my goodreads to read list, which is way longer than 56 books by the way.
I finished this book early on a Sunday morning and cried myself back into a nap. I didn’t cry because the book was sad, I honestly didn’t even cry because it was beautiful, I cried because I didn’t want it to end. I gave this book a five, which hasn’t happened much lately. When I was younger and found a book amazing, it was because I felt I had literally devoured the book. As I aged, the means to get a five changed. For the most part, a five meant a book that changed the way I perceived my life or the world we lived in.
This book may have not been so impactful if I had read it in a different time in my life. After all it is a book about a woman who has been down in a hole of misery for three years and how she forced herself to climb out of this hole. I happen to be in a much shallower hole, a break up is really not much compared to the death of a parent and divorce, right now. My climb isn’t as hard as hers. But this book, along with others I’ve read, has helped me make that small climb all the same. The truth is, though, everyone has been in a hole like this at some point in your life, and if you haven’t yet you are lucky! But anyone who has been in a hole, at some point, even if it was long in the past, can relate and find a truth in this book.
My biggest takeaway from this is this: without the bad stuff, we wouldn’t be where we are. When something is good, and you have to learn to see the good, you absolutely have to, you can look back at your past and realize that if anything had gone differently thus far, the good or the bad, you wouldn’t be in this place right now.
My second takeaway from this, and it’s also huge, is that people are good. This is actually something I already believed, much to the chagrin of many people I know. But throughout her hike, Cheryl ran into many many people, and only a couple of time were those interactions negative. I wish more people assumed people, inherently, were good. Or at least strived to be good.
PS I saw the movie right before publishing this. As usual (at least for me) the book was better, but definitely worth a watch! Though they left a lot out (I could never make those decisions), those two takeaways were as present in the movie as they were in the book.