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

June 21, 2007

Perhaps I’ve been working on too many Web 2.0 type projects lately, but the conversational style and 108 short sections of Elizabeth Gilbert‘s memoir Eat, Pray, Love reminded me of nothing more so than a blog.  I mean that as a compliment – if this book had been a blog, it certainly would have been a popular one and probably one of my favorites. 

The story of Elizabeth’s journey towards spiritual healing (I’ll admit I sort of hate that phrase, but it fits) after a bitter divorce could have been cliched, but her friendly, relatable voice makes this book like you’re having drinks and catching up with an old friend.  I’ll admit that it’s probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but considering the number of copies this book has sold, somebody besides me has to like it. 

From the New Yorker:

“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.'”

Although the title suggests that this book is a travelogue, Elizabeth’s actual travelling takes a backseat to her personal discoveries – hers is an inward voyage, and I give her props for being courageous enough to take her readers along on the journey.

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