Monday, February 23, 2015

I'm Reading and Loving Wild by Cheryl Strayed

My mother told me about the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed a while back - back before there was talk of a movie. My family often goes hiking, and we love to read, so reading about hiking naturally came up. Wild is memoir, in which Strayed hikes the Pacific Crest Trail. My mom said I had to read it, and I am just now getting around to it. I usually make a promise to myself that I will read the book before seeing the movie for any of the book-then-movie scenarios, and I am trying to hold true to that promise with Wild. Honestly, I had forgotten about the book for a while until I saw a commercial for the movie. Then, not long ago, my mom mentioned that we should see it. I bought the book at Barnes and Noble right after that, wanting to read it before seeing the flick. My mom had mentioned that the book had some sad parts. She specifically referred to the main character's mother and a horse dying. Of course it affects me when human characters go through pain or pass away in a book, on TV, or in a movie. I shed tears at the drop of a hat, even during those touching commercials on TV. But why, must I ask, does it affect me so so much when an animal - a HORSE nonetheless, my beloved favorite animal - passes away in a storyline? I'm talking heart-breaking huge crocodile tears and the occasional sobbing episode. It kills me. I guess I can chalk it up to my love of animals.

Anyway,  I am a little over halfway through the book, and I have been dreading the part where the horse dies. The author discusses her mother's death early on in the book, so the tearful page-turning for that event is in my past (well, kinda - the author includes past memories of her mother throughout the book - cue more tears). This evening I took the time to read a bit, and came upon the horse part. Oh my. Pain-in-my-chest, can't-get-my-breath sobbing overtook me, complete with tiny dark gray puddles of mascara-soaked tears forming on my chest. How embarrassing. I'm just glad my husband wasn't home to hear it. My sweeter-than-sugar dog was all worried, and climbed up in my face to make sure I was okay. The more I read of the 'horse part',
the harder I cried. Tears blurred my vision, but they didn't obstruct the words on the page that told me that the horse was very similar to ones I have had, and had to say goodbye to, in my past. Oh connections - how powerful they are. Connections to the story, to animals, to memories, to the ones we love. This section of the book created some strong connections within me.

Ah, books. I love reading books. Especially those I can connect with, and those that I share interests with (especially horses). Don't get me wrong, the 'horse part' was moving for me, but other aspects of the book have been moving for me, too. I highly recommend this book, and can't wait to read more. That's the best kind of read, right?

Here's the book. I purposely purchased the one without the movie cover picture as I always do, even though there is a non-removable 'Now a Major Motion Picture' emblem on it. Is that weird?  :)

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