#38 A Review of Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

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With my Europe trip rapidly approaching, I began to ponder what books I would be bringing with me to keep me entertained when we were not sightseeing.  Since I was going to Italy, the obvious choice was Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Having seen the movie a few weeks earlier with Todd, I really wanted to read Gilbert’s own thoughts on love, spirituality, and food.  Never have I been more jealous of a person’s life than after reading this book!  The way she finds peace and serenity in this hectic thing we call life is admirable.

After going through a tumultuous divorce, a heartbreaking rebound relationship, struggles with work, and life in general, Gilbert finds herself at a crossroads.  Either commit suicide (which she thankfully talks herself out of), or take a year away from everybody and everything and find herself: as a person, as a lover, and as a spiritual being.  Obviously she chooses the second choice and convinces a publisher to pay for her year abroad in exchange for what will later become Eat Pray Love.  Her plan is this: spend four months in Italy to learn Italian and to also appreciate life, food, and friendship.  After Italy, she goes for four months to an Ashram (a place of spiritual learning in India), where she learns meditation, sacrifice, and devotion towards a higher power.  Finally, she travels to the Indonesian isle of Bali, where she learns the secret to a happy life from an old medicine man named Ketut.  Over the course of the year, Gilbert must face her horrifying bout with depression, loneliness, and dependency on men.  Will she ever think herself whole enough to love and live again?

As soon as I began reading Eat Pray Love I knew I would wind up loving it.  Gilbert’s effervescent personality shines through in her writing, allowing her readers to instantly connect with her and her plight and find themselves in her writing.  I’ve spoken with so many people who have read this book and have said the exact same thing.  Gilbert struggles with issues that aren’t uncommon to everyday people: the loss of spirituality, hard breakups, losing one’s way, and feeling helpless.  When reading about her dark times you really do get a sense of how deep her depression was, and after completing the whole book a reader definitely can find hope that even in the darkest times, if you put your mind and heart into it, you can overcome anything. 

Not only did I love the overwhelming message of hope found in the book, I also fell in love with the people and places that Liz introduces us to.  Seeing parts of Italy through her eyes, and then being able to experience them myself was an amazing experience.  I don’t get the chance very often to go to the places that authors write about, so it was a totally new experience for me, one that I hope to repeat soon.

Note:  For those of you planning a trip to Italy, India, or Bali, I suggest reading Liz’s chapters on those locations prior to going, as she does talk about great sites and eats that could be worthwhile for your visit!

5 out of 5 Stars

This is my tenth completed review for the Page to Screen Challenge

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Penguin Group (2007)
Paperback 352 pages
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5 thoughts on “#38 A Review of Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

  1. I’ve heard SO many people/readers criticize this novel, calling Gilbert a spoiled brat who seems happens to pack her bags and travel to some exotic location in order to avoid her problems. In all honesty, even as I read this book, I kept asking myself, “Who can really DO that!?!?” I mean, for the most of us, taking a few days off is close to impossible, let alone years on end – but that doesn’t change the fact that this book was seriously quite good. It held some great lessons, and it seemed to calm my wanderlust down by transporting me to some amazing places! And for that, I love this book! 😀

    Thank you for your awesome review, and for sharing your thoughts with us! 😀

    • I was super jealous at first that someone paid her to leave, but I also realized that after reading the whole book that the woman was seriously messed up. She needed a way to free herself of everything binding her down. Until she could be free of everything to reflect on it, she wouldn’t be able to change anything.

      I learned a lot from this book – hope others can too!

  2. Pingback: Adam’s Film Friday – A Review of Eat, Pray, Love « Reflections of a Book Addict

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