Well this has been interesting. I tried to read the book and admit to abandoning it maybe 2/3 to 3/4 of the way through. I wanted to like it. On some level I never could identify or connect with the author. I've not hiked the AT or PCT. I have lost a parent who was my mentor, role model, friend and last buffer between me and my unhinged mother - and yet didn't descend to addictions of any flavor. I've not used heroin. I've not been promiscuous. I have been depressed. At some point however so much of her story hinges on the death of her mother, which I get, and her response, which I don't, it became difficult to read. I suppose I just didn't care enough about her fate to persevere to the end.
I understand it isn't a hiking book. I've read enough trail journals and blogs to recognize that a hiking book really about hiking is likely to be quite short. As someone early stated - walk, eat, sleep, poop. Repeat. Seriously - at some point, woke up, ate, walked, ate, slept, woke up, etc... can only carry you so far. There has to be something else to hang your hat on - the people being the most interesting thing. The psychological toll and physical toll are all there and consistent among many - perhaps it is much like endurance athletes and other achievements that take perseverance at the end of the day the attainment does not necessarily come with any sort of personal epiphany other than I did it and I'm glad it's done.
So I might watch the movie on Netflix ... applaud the author for conquering her demons such as they are ... but otherwise don't plan on reopening the book to finish it.
Here's a question for me - what kind of book set around a hike as the "vehicle" for narrative delivery would I want to read? Have to think about that - not a gear guide although the geek in me does like those details - but otherwise, hmmm...