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Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Paperback – 5 Mar 2007
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'"My friend Paige and I are reading a book together, Eat, Pray, Love, and we keep calling each other saying "What page are you on?" It's about a woman's sojourn through three countries, and it's fantastic. It's what I'm giving all my girlfriends for Christmas." (Julia is scheduled to play Elizabeth in the film adaptation. She sent her the prayer beads, the ones she wore each day that whole year.)' -- Julia Roberts, Life Magazine
'Every woman should read it' -- Elle Macpherson, Daily Telegraph
'I adore it and am getting a copy to everyone I know'
-- Sophie Dahl
'I've just finished reading Eat, Pray, Love, which is amazing. It's not that it's light -- it's incredibly deep and connected and wonderful -- it's just that she writes with such lightness.' -- Minnie Driver
'Meg recently read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. "I loved it," says Meg, whose split from Quaid and subsequent relationship with actor Russell Crowe in 2000 were much publicized. "I could understand her wanting to write the book and her desire to heal. She gets a divorce and decides she's going to do what she wants to do."' -- Meg Ryan, Redbook
`A witty, honest account of loss and new beginnings, this will be
enjoyed by anyone who's realised "having it all" isn't all it's cracked up
to be' -- Easy Living
`A writer of incandescent talent' -- Annie Proulx
`If a more likable writer than Gilbert is currently in print, I
haven't found him or her ... irresistible' -- New York Times
`It's a good read. I can't get away from it' -- Britney Spears, Glamour
It's 3 a.m. and Elizabeth Gilbert is sobbing on the bathroom floor. She's in her thirties, she has a husband, a house, they're trying for a baby - and she doesn't want any of it. A bitter divorce and a turbulent love affair later, she emerges battered and bewildered and realises it is time to pursue her own journey in search of three things she has been missing: pleasure, devotion and balance. So she travels to Rome, where she learns Italian from handsome, brown-eyed identical twins and gains twenty-five pounds, an ashram in India, where she finds that enlightenment entails getting up in the middle of the night to scrub the temple floor, and Bali where a toothless medicine man of indeterminate age offers her a new path to peace: simply sit still and smile. And slowly happiness begins to creep up on her.See all Product description
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The idea of travelling in order to "find yourself" always seems attractive, particularly to middle aged women.
Initially I found the memoir difficult to engage with. The author is in her thirties and I though she was trying to use this as a barrier to readers. I also found her chaotic thought processes quite complex to work through. What kept me reading through this was the gorgeous descriptions of sights and emotions. I'm not a religious person but strongly acknowledge a spiritual side of the world which seems to escape understanding - this book made me confront that and think a lot.
At one point, the author describes that her spirituality interests her sister from a point of "intellectual curiosity" which I can understand and think this is how I approached this whole book.
During the year, Elizabeth Gilbert visits Italy, India and Indonesia. In each place she looks for different experiences, all working towards giving her some contentment with her life. I struggled with the transitions between countries as they seemed to happen very swiftly. Overall, I found that I was never really given the chance to properly understand the author and gain any deep understanding of her motives - I think I~ would have preferred this book to be three separate volumes.
What I did love was the open minded way that the author approached everything that came her way and the accessible way in which she described her experiences. I partly envy her religion as it does seem the means to a wonderful way to approach the world and everything that is thrown at you.
Throughout the book there are all sorts of little gems which I am trying to remember to make me a better person.
I may recommend this to some friends but will be very careful who I select. It took me a long time to read this book which is an indicator of my enjoyment.
Through Gilberts descriptions / thoughts I felt you did get a good insight into Italian, Indian and Balinese culture.It is a memoir though not a guide book so a lot of that insight is gained intuitively through the re telling of her experiences.
A bit of a spiritual sceptic I wasn't sold at first on the first religious aspect of the book.I then picked up on how Liz seemed to create her own religion taking aspects that worked for her and leaving behind those that didn't. from the different experiences. Showing that maybe you have to find your own way to happiness but you can still take tips from others.
Critics claim the book is self indulgent. I feel everyone needs to take time for themselves to be able to give to others.I think that's what the authors done here. Not only enriching the lives of the people she met but also touching readers too. I was particularly warmed by how it is possible for people from different cultures to embrace each other and get along.
But as It turns out, this book is pretty awesome!
Gilbert is disillusioned with life and disappointed in love, she travels to the three I's:
Italy - where she eats, India - where she prays and Indonesia (Bali) where she finds love.
It's as simple and yet as momentous as that. You'll either read it and chuck it across the room or read it and come away with something profound for yourself. Liz is a gifted writer, I have ear marked, highlighted and underlined the heck outta this book.
I suspect many would secretly love to do exactly what Liz did (I would), but cannot due to commitments, responsibilities and budget constraints.
That's perhaps why there are so many bad reviews, I get that, I understand. But maybe instead of reading it with your defences already up, try reading it like it's fiction. Be open minded and give it a go.