Following the death of her mother, Strayed spent her early 20s dabbling with heroin and infidelity, breaking up her marriage, and generally blowing up her life. The mess she was in led her to the Pacific Crest Trail where, in 1996, she hiked 1,100 miles from Mojave to the Bridge of the Gods in Oregon. Along the way, she dealt with bears, rattlesnakes, and a backpack so heavy she named it "Monster." It's a punishing hike that nearly destroys Strayed's will (along with her feet), but helps her find a way out of her grief and back to the woman she wants to be. A beautiful and tear-your-heart-out sad memoir that deserves every bit of the buzz it's getting.