Wild Reading Group Guide

Dive into the first pick for Oprah's Book Club 2.0 with 17 in-depth questions about Cheryl Strayed's astonishing memoir.

Why is it so crucial that, after extolling her mother throughout the book, Cheryl lists her mother’s faults and failures?

The geographical terrain Cheryl crosses plays such a large part in the memoir. Crater Lake for example, is described as powerful, as if it "would always be here, absorbing every color of visible light but blue." How do her descriptions of the physical landscape create a spiritual or emotional landscape for her readers?

Cheryl’s fellow hikers play a large role in her experience on PCT. How do you think they contribute to her grieving and healing process? In what ways, beyond providing practical aid, did they enable her to finish her hike?

In which moments do you feel that Cheryl has stopped resisting the loss of her mother’s death? Where has she found some release?

Wild is a journey book. It moves around in time, but it starts in one place and ends in another. At the very end, the story jumps forward to describe what Cheryl doesn’t know yet, what she will find out beyond the wilderness, then concludes with her saying, "It was enough to trust that what I’d done was true." What kind of understanding has she come to by the last line of the book, "How wild it was, to let it be"?