I’m not a fan of Oprah (I know! *gasp* LOL), but my mother-in-law happened to have it turned on when author Elizabeth Gilbert was on talking about her book Eat Pray Love. This book is not a normal read for me, but I couldn’t help but be intrigued after watching the interview. So I looked it up online and ended up buying a used copy. I figured for a few dollars, what did I have to lose?
This beautifully written, heartfelt memoir touched a nerve among both readers and reviewers. Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life. Setting out for a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures, Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India, and then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali. By turns rapturous and rueful, this wise and funny author (whom Booklist calls “Anne Lamott’s hip, yoga- practicing, footloose younger sister”) is poised to garner yet more adoring fans.
Eat Pray Love is an auto-biographical story of Elizabeth Gilbert’s search to find herself. As a woman in her thirties, she one day realizes that her “perfect life” isn’t as perfect as it seems. Despite a good job, nice home and a husband, she feels that something is missing. So she gets divorced, beats her depression and decides to leave all of the ‘worldly comforts’ behind and start a journey that would change her life forever.
Her first stop is Italy where she indulges in their food and the culture. Her second stop is India where she takes an extended vow of silence and practices the art of Yoga. Her third and final stop is Bali where she aims to combine the pleasure she found in Italy with the devotion she found in India.
On the whole I’d have to say Eat Pray Love was a pretty good book, although a little bit of a slow read for me. Though I only call it a slow read because this isn’t the type of book I normally read. In light of that, the fact that I got through the book and enjoyed it, is saying a lot. Told from Elizabeth’s point of view, the casual, almost conversational tone, draws the reader in. I found it easy to feel for her during her depression state and to learn life lessons with her as she tries to find herself.
My biggest complaint about Eat Pray Love is it’s hard to truly relate to the author’s journey. While enjoyable to read, there are not many of us who can drop everything in our life and spend 1 year traveling to 3 different countries. Money and responsibility would keep the vast majority of us from a year-long self discovery trip like the one described in the book and because of that, I have to admit, I felt an underlying resentment towards the author. It didn’t keep me from liking the book, but the feeling was there none-the-less.
So I guess the real question is, would I recommend Eat Pray Love? The answer is yes. Despite my main complaint, I did find the book to be quite fascinating. The book is well written and the author is fairly likable. As long as you can get past the fact that her journey towards self discovery was done in an “extravagant” fashion, then I think you’ll enjoy it as much, if not more, than I did.
As a side note: For those who enjoy Eat Pray Love there is a follow up called Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage. I definitely look forward to reading it, when I get the chance.
Also reviewed by:
Faith’s Book Blog
The Open House
I listened to it on audiobook and really enjoyed the Eat, Love parts. The Pray part was a little too “slowish” for me. I think listening to it helped because I could hear her giggle when happy, a little sadness in her voice, ect (yes she read her own book)! I would recommend it too though it is not my normal book. Committed was good on audio too though I heard it was bad read.
You know, I’ve had this book on my shelf for the longest time. I haven’t really been clamoring to read it, but with the movie coming out and your review. I think it’s time for me to pick it up. Great Review!!
Jennifer: Thank you! That means a lot since this is my first review. I hope you enjoy the book! Please post again and let me know what you think!
Felicia: I couldn’t agree more. The Eat and Love parts did read more quickly than the Pray part. Although, I have to admit the Pray part did fascinate me a bit. I’ve never been able to clear my mind long enough to meditate. Thanks for the info on Committed! I’ve never been one for audiobooks, but it might be interesting to hear it read by the author/person who experienced it.
great review! as for your new set up…pictures got lost in the translation (can’t tell you how often that’s happened to me!). i do wish you have an email subscription method…i never get a chance to read rss but do email.
@HodgePodge: If you’re referring to the pictures on the main page, they didn’t get lost in translation. I’m still trying to figure out how to get them working. That whole section is wonky.
Also, there is an email feed for LE – http://feeds.feedburner.com/LiteraryEscapism. Click that and it gives you a bunch of options, including one for email.
Thanks HodgePodge and Violet!
Violet: I’m a firm believer in reading a book before seeing a movie. For some reason I have the hardest time doing it the other way around. Plus, it goes without saying that books are always better than the movie. I can’t think of one exception to that rule. I hope you like the book! :)
Salut, just bookmarked your site! I’ll be back for sure to check out your future postings…such a type of blog post is really rare these days – between all these standard blabla bloggers. Have been looking on Yahoo for that topic, finally found your article! First informative review. Thanks again and I’ll check this blog more often now. Go on like that!! See yah Sarah