By Cheryl Strayed
Cheryl Strayed grabs the reader’s attention through her in media res writing approach, meeting the reader at the thick of the story.
The author brings drama to the forefront in her Epilogue with her becoming shoeless in the Pacific Crest Trail- the wild. She assembles various elements of storytelling to form a compelling read. Her narration is packed with brutal honesty [not being humble before God]; self-censure and resentfulness [sleeping with too many men]; acceptance and denial moving hand-in-hand [“She doesn’t need a wheelchair” and in the next moment imagining her dead on a gleaming wooden desk].
Cheryl is able to draw a logical connect with the bare impoverished past that leads the reader to meld her urge for excursion and the underpinning preparedness. She devices effectively the summaries and scenes by either slow pacing the reader through a scene or zipping forward through a chunk of her life through brisk depictions of her life at that time, yielding a quick-paced read.
She keeps alive, the reader’s quest for ‘what’s in it for me’ by delivering suspense, adventure, thrill, misery and so on, in an energetic narrative.