Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

From The New Yorker book review:

At the age of thirty-one, Gilbert moved with her husband to the suburbs of New York and began trying to get pregnant, only to realize that she wanted neither a child nor a husband. Three years later, after a protracted divorce, she embarked on a yearlong trip of recovery, with three main stops: Rome, for pleasure (mostly gustatory, with a special emphasis on gelato); an ashram outside of Mumbai, for spiritual searching; and Bali, for “balancing.” These destinations are all on the beaten track, but Gilbert’s exuberance and her self-deprecating humor enliven the proceedings: recalling the first time she attempted to speak directly to God, she says, “It was all I could do to stop myself from saying, ‘I’ve always been a big fan of your work.’ ”

My thoughts:

I have mixed reviews about this book. I liked the part about Italy. Beautiful descriptions-I absolutely loved reading about the food and the landscape. Hated the part about India. Now, I understand that this was a journey of self discovery, and being in an Ashram is why she went to India in the first place. But. And there is a big but-unlike the previous part, there were very little descriptions for anything other than her inability to sit still and meditate. We got that. She did not have to spend over a hundred pages on that. Or at least that is what it felt like. In that part she came off as incredibly whiny and boring. She was in India, one of the most interesting and colourful countries in the world, and we got little to no description of the food and people. I honestly cannot remember anything from that section except thinking that watching paint dry might be more interesting. If you like reading about spiritual self discovery, then this is the book for you. I was highly disappointed. I almost gave up on the book at that point. The only reason I kept going was the fact that I was planning to use this book for my Around the World in 80 Books challenge, and I already read something for both Italy and India. I needed to get through the Indonesia part to be able to use it for my challenge. And I am glad I continued reading because she went back to the beautiful descriptions. Last part was as entertaining as the first part. Not breathtaking by any means, but enjoyable. I do not know if I would recommend this to any of my friends, just because I think they would have the same problems getting through it. I should have realized after reading other reviews, and seeing people being split into either hating the book or loving it, that this was not going to be an easy read. I enjoyed it enough to give it 3 stars.


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