Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Eat Pray Love - Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

I finished this book over a week ago and I just couldn't bring myself to review it. I loved the book, much more than I ever anticipated I would, but I don't know how to share it.

Gilbert shares a year of her life and whatever background necessary to understand it. The year is spend in Italy, India and Indonesia. The months in Italy are about pleasure, her love of all things Italian and especially the language and food. In India she lives in an Ashram searching for her inner peace. Indonesia, Bali in particular, she "studies" with a medicine man and falls in love.

That's the simple version.

My reluctance to ever start this book was that it just didn't sound interesting. Not only that, but I was a little worried about it being preachy as well.

Not to worry.

The book is completely and totally about Gilbert and her experience. And Gilbert writes in a totally entertaining manner.

What I came away with instead was a desire to travel and immerse myself in another culture. She writes so easily and humorously about her experiences, I wanted to be there, or at least in the country of my own desire having my own experiences.

Each section of her book has it's own personality. "Eat" is about letting herself follow her nose and enjoy everything around her, each and every experience. "Pray" becomes more somber as Gilbert faces her own demons and tries to get herself out of her own way to overcome her life's obstacles. I have to say there were many times in this part of the book I simply wanted to shake her. But I also wanted to experience real mediation and what it could bring to me. "Pray" was so much more informational than "Eat" and I loved the education she gave me. "Love" I have to describe as the afterglow. Gilbert had come a long ways personally when she arrived in Bali and her story was more relaxed. Different from "Eat" in that she didn't seem to be pursuing pleasure as much as just letting her life and her learning be pleasurable.

This book is truly a vicarious pleasure. It left me wanting more in my own life, particularly spiritually. My only peeve about the book? The chapter breaks.

This is going to sound silly and petty but....

Each chapter has a big black dot at the beginning of it, representing a bead. There is a particular symbolism to this and I understand the meaning, it's explained at the beginning of the book. However, where the chapters are particularly short there may be as many as 3 of these "beads" on a page and they jump around.


Maybe it's my astigmatism, or not. But those "beads" flashed at me, black & white and jumped all over the pages. I had to physically cover them with my hand to continue reading.

And that is my only complaint.

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