I am not a huge fan of non fiction, I will read a biography if I am interested in the person, but a biography/memoir is not something I would generally grab from the shelf. However when my book club picked this book, I dutifully went and read it.
This is a difficult book for me to rate and review. On one hand, Cheryl is a fascinating and amazing human being. The events she has experienced and her journey on the hike are incredibly interesting. Her ability to discover who she is and who she wants to become as well as leaving parts of herself behind, whilst on her adventure is truly inspirational.
However, to be honest I did not enjoy the writing. I found it too inconsistent. Some parts were beautifully written and described. Some parts had great emotional depth. Yet other parts were bland, or what I felt could be more emotionally explored, left barren. I was absolutely fascinated with her physical journey, as well as her mental/emotional self-realisation, but found the text frustrating to read. It is fine to jump between current and past events, it is fine to build suspense, this can be done really well. However for me, it was not done well in this particular book. Possibly I was just too curious and impatient to get answers. I don’t know. Some descriptions of the hike bored me to tears, especially when this was sliced with dramatic and engaging back story that I just wanted to get back to.
Also I found the ending to leave many questions unanswered. Yes I understand it is about the journey, but I would have liked another chapter, an epilogue to explain a few things. Why spend most of the book detailing the damage done to her feet, then at the end provide no information on if or how they healed???
I give this book 3 stars. What she has gone through is absolutely inspiring – her story is fascinating, however the way it has been written does not do it justice.