While my younger sister was home for winter break she was flipping through channels and ended up watching Julia Roberts in “Eat, Pray, Love.” Because I heard that the book was much better than the movie rendition (obviously), I headed straight to the library and rented the memoir.
“Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia” tells the story of Elizabeth Gilbert, as she emerges from a difficult divorce, leaves the man whom she believes is the love of her life even though she knows their love is flawed, and leaves her home country of the US to find herself through travel. She battles depression, self-doubt, guilt, and anger with Italy’s pasta, wine, romance, and language; India’s devotion, hard work, yoga, and spirituality; and Indonesia’s relaxation, leisure, balance, and the beautiful island landscape of Bali. Along the way she is constantly learning about the world around her as well as the world within herself. She makes new friends and comes out on the other side a completely different woman with a completely different life.
When my brother’s girlfriend—also an avid reader—learned that I was reading “Eat, Pray, Love,” she told me that she found Gilbert hard to read and wasn’t able to make it past the halfway point in the book. To this, I say, proceed with caution. In the beginning of the book, Gilbert is dealing with extremely trying albeit common life struggles. Coupled with her intelligence and a personality that can sometimes read as dryly witty, it is true that Gilbert is hard to read, especially through Italy and India. There were many times where I looked up from the page and wondered, “How can she be complaining! She has the time and money to drop everything and travel around the world!” But as a reader, you have to remember that Gilbert uses “Eat, Pray, Love” as a place to explain, vent, express, and share her innermost feelings with her audience. If my every thought was recorded on page, I would definitely come off as sometimes ungrateful or whiny as well!
That being said, by the time Gilbert arrives in Bali, her emotional journey is rounding out and what felt like a burdensome search for inner peace becomes an adventure. So, stick with it and you will definitely understand why this book is a New York Time’s Bestseller!
As for the movie: still haven’t gotten around to watching it.