Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Review of 'Eat, Pray, Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert

"By the time she turned thirty, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern, educated, ambitious American woman was supposed to want-- a husband, a house in the country, a successful career.  But instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed with panic, grief, and confusion.  She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the complete eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be,

To recover from all this, Gilbert took a radical step.  In order to give herself the time and space to find out who she really was and what she really wanted, she got rid of her belongings, quit her job, left her loved ones behind, and undertook a year-long journey around the world, all alone.  Eat, Pray, Love is the absorbing chronicle of that year.  Gilbert's aim was to visit three places where she could examine one aspect of her nature set against the backdrop of a culture that has traditionally done that one thing very well.  In Italy, she studied the art of pleasure, learning to speak Italian and gaining the twenty-three happiest pounds of her life.  India was for the art of devotion, where, with the help of a native guru and a surprisingly wise Texan, she embarked on four months of austere spiritual exploration.  Finally, in Indonesia, she sought her ultimate goal: balance-- namely, how to somehow build a life of equilibrium between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.  Looking for these answers on the island of Bali, she became the pupil of an elderly ninth-generation medicine man and also fell in love in the very best way-- unexpectedly.

An intensely articulate, sensible, moving, and funny memoir of self-discovery, Eat, Pray, Love is about what can happen when you claim responsibility for your own contentment.  It is also about the adventures that can transpire when a woman stops trying to live in imitation of society's ideals.  This is a story certain to touch anyone who has ever woken up to the unrelenting need for change."

This book is the epitome of the reason why I love memoirs.  This is the true story of what a woman does to achieve true happiness.  This memoir is brutally honest and yet funny; it makes you appreciate different parts of your life more than you thought you could appreciate them.  Elizabeth Gilbert's words made me rethink my own life and reflect on it.  Some of the things she said I found to be quite profound to think about, so I dog-eared the pages.  This might be one of those occurrences where I dog-ear a page for another reason other than to hold my place.  If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to quote them for you:

1. "'...And please don't laugh at me now, but I seriously believed David was my soul mate.'
   'He probably was.  Your problem is you don't understand what that word means.  People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants.  But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that's holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.  A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake...'"

2.  The entirety of chapter three.  Her views on religion are just so interesting to read about.  For a few years now, I have struggled with my religion as well as the concept of religion as a whole.  I call myself a weak agnostic, but I'm embarrassed to say so because, though for the time being, it's true for me, it sounds bad because, to my knowledge, the rest of my family is not like that.  I feel free, but guilty at the same time.  Miss Gilbert's thoughts fascinated me and have doused my thought process in a new kind of light.

3.  "...Before dawn the roosters for miles around announce how freaking cool it is to be roosters.  ('We are ROOSTERS!' they holler.  'We are the only ones who get to be ROOSTERS!')..."

I just found this spot to be incredibly funny.  I literally laughed out loud.  Liz's syntax just impresses me so much because her humor definitely comes out and it's just totally unexpected!  I love it!

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked this book off the reservation shelf, but I'm really happy that I did read it.

The people Liz meet are so extraordinary in their own way.  I think I liked the people from Indonesia (Bali) best because they were just so happy.  Sure, they're had their share of hardship, but still, they were happy.

I have never wanted to visit any of these countries more (well, Italy and Indonesia, any way.  No offense, India.  Maybe someday though).

An excellent read!  I give Eat, Pray, Love:
Thanks for reading!


No comments:

Post a Comment

I love your comments! Comment away!