Eat Pray Love

By Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat Pray Love is an intimate, honest account of the author’s year-long search for self in three different countries – Italy, India and Indonesia. The consuming panic and confusion she was feeling while living the life others dream of – married, living in a country home and being successful in her career – is what stimulated the journey.

Gilbert pulled herself out of the marriage, which plummeted her into a depression and another relationship, before she realized she needed to stop the cycle and figure out who she was and what she really wanted. She chose to attack three aspects of her life – pleasure in Italy, devotion in India and a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence in Bali, Indonesia.

In Italy, she works on learning the language and enjoying the food. Being alone is often a struggle, but she is determined to concentrate on her reasons for being there. In India, she spends her time at an Ashram learning the Sanskrit meditations, and ends up staying there longer than originally planned. In Bali, she learns from a medicine man she met in her previous travels, plus she builds relationships with local people and falls in love.

Gilbert is a talented writer who does a wonderful job of blending personal feelings and observations with facts, both current and historical. I was not sold on the first part of the book, and I know others who stopped reading after a few chapters. But I’m glad I read it in its entirety. Though parts of the beginning were filled with personal information I did not need to know, the growth process from the beginning to end was a fun journey to read. I really liked reading about her time at the Ashram in India, which is a good read for anyone who is searching.

Oh, the book is better than the movie. I actually had to read the book because of a line in the previews for the movie about wanting to feel passion for life again.

Gilbert has since married the man she fell in love with at Bali, though both of them had sworn off marriage, and she has written a book called “Committed” about her love of Felipe and the journey through emotions and research about marriage and commitment. I was at a reading where she shared an excerpt from the book, which was really well done.


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