Top positive review
A beautifully written book about loss and redemption.
2 March 2016
As someone whose mum died young of cancer, this story touched a chord in me, so my review is likely to be coloured by that. Regardless, Strayed's writing is beautiful - she is able to evoke the feelings and emotions of her characters, and the complexity of those feelings and emotions. Given the grueling subject matter I wasn't sure how Strayed would end the book, but she manages to create a sense of hope and optimism - you leave feeling that the characters are going to be OK, which was very satisfying.
Because I had read Wild before reading Torch, I knew that the subject matter was semi-autobiographical and for me that was the weakness in the book. I couldn't help wondering whether this character or that character were based on actual people in her life, and that was distracting. It took about a third of the book for me to let it go and accept the characters as just that - characters in a work of fiction. Of course this is not a fault of the author, or of the writing itself. More a word of warning to potential readers - for maximum enjoyment read this before reading Wild!