Review: 'Wild' author's inspirational quotes: 'Brave Enough'

AP News
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Posted: Oct 27, 2015 4:27 PM

"Brave Enough" (Alfred A. Knopf), by Cheryl Strayed

Fans of Cheryl Strayed's unforgettable memoir "Wild" are to be forgiven if they start jumping up and down at the news that Strayed has a new book out called "Brave Enough."

But don't get too excited. As much as her devoted readers would surely devour a sequel filling us in on what Strayed did with her life after her healing solo trek on the Pacific Crest Trail, "Brave Enough" isn't that book.

Instead, Strayed has given us a small volume of inspirational quotes. And if that's what floats your boat, "Brave Enough" is good enough.

At its best, it's wise, funny, thoughtful and occasionally obscene; at its worst, many of the quotes sound like they were made for refrigerator magnets or greeting cards.

That said, if you're the kind of person who derives comfort and motivation from the Serenity Prayer, if you've got comforting mantras taped to the wall, if you keep a journal of poetry fragments and clever sayings, then you will love "Brave Enough."

Its nuggets, mostly written in the imperative tense, addressed from Strayed to you, range from yoga-lady wisdom like, "When the path reveals itself, follow it," to short meditations like one with this takeaway: "Accept that it's going to take a long time for you to get that monster out of your chest."

For some readers, these will be words to live by. But others will keep waiting for Strayed to write that sequel.