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January 29, 2013 > Washington Women's Center Book Club: Come Join Us for a "Wild" Discussion!

Washington Women's Center Book Club: Come Join Us for a "Wild" Discussion!

Two-part group book-review sessions scheduled in February

Coping with a personal loss is something everyone experiences at some point in life: being abandoned by a parent as a child, losing a parent to an early death due to cancer. In her best-selling personal memoir, "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail," author Cheryl Strayed tells the story of her efforts to recover from her losses and rediscover her life and sense of purpose by hiking more than 1,100 miles through the wilderness - on her own.

The author notes: "This hike taught me acceptance. I had to accept the fact of the hour. The fact of the mile. The fact of the summer. The facts of my life. Over and over again, I found that if I could accept those difficult things, everything else sort of gave way. Each step led me to the next step and the truth that was going to reveal itself. The Pacific Crest Trail gave me a really grand sense of humility, which is what you need so you can keep walking in ways both literal and metaphorical."

Strayed's book is the first reading selection chosen for Washington Women's Center's all-new book club, facilitated by Breast Care Navigator Patty Chadwell. The first half of the book will be discussed on Wednesday, February 6. The second half will be discussed on Wednesday, February 20. Both book club sessions are scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Washington Women's Center Conference Room located in the Washington West Building at 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont.

"Washington Women's Center offers a wide range of services and classes geared toward improving women's health, but we wanted to offer women an opportunity to gather together in a more informal, social setting," says Chadwell. "We decided that a book club would be an ideal environment for lively, stimulating discussions that allow women to share their thoughts and experiences with each other."

Chadwell notes that "Wild" was chosen as the first book club selection because of its broad appeal to women of all ages and all walks of life.

"We decided not to choose a book that dealt specifically with breast cancer, even though that is one of the issues we deal with quite often at the Women's Center," she says. (Strayed's mother died of lung cancer at age 45.) "The book does deal with some physical and mental health issues, however, and it could lead to some interesting conversations on how we deal with those aspects of our lives."

Because the book club is a new offering at Washington Women's Center, Chadwell says she has "no expectations" as to where the group will lead.

"We really want the women in the book club to help determine our path going forward, and we are open to suggestions for books that we can explore together," she says.

As Cheryl Strayed remarks in her book: "I'd never done anything like that before. I had nothing to lose by giving it a whirl."

To register for the book club discussions on February 6 and 20, please visit or call (800) 963-7070. For more information about the Women's Center Book Club, call (510) 608-1301.

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