Book Review: Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love is an autobiographical journey of a divorced woman on a search for balance. Actually, let me steal a quote from the book, since this pretty much sums it all:

“I wanted to explore the art of pleasure in Italy, the art of devotion in India and, in Indonesia, the art of balancing the two. It was only later, after admitting this dream, that I noticed the happy coincidence that all these countries begin with the letter I. A fairly auspicious sign, it seemed, on a voyage of self-discovery.”

Normally I’m not one for books about “self discovery.” Travel books, yes, but self-discovery ones I find… rather boring and unrelated to my life. This book, however, I unexpectedly found myself evaluating my own life as Elizabeth Gilbert skillfully intertwined poignant lessons through witty stories and conviction. She did a fantastic job of painting the pictures of her journeys, intertwining amusing characters she encountered, and setting the stage for the peace that she sought. It deliciously entertaining and devotional at the same time.

On a practical level, reading this book made me long to travel, practice yoga more regularly, and of course see the movie when it premiers in August. On a deeper level, it made me reevaluate my daily habits and compare my life against what my values are. Throughout her journey, Gilbert learned to forgive and let herself be happy again. The best part, though, wasn’t that this happiness stayed within herself, but through that forgiveness, she was able to bless and love others. The theme of the book really is love: you cannot love others fully without first loving yourself.

In short: I loved the book. If I up and leave you all one day, don’t be alarmed, I’m just traveling the world in search of myself. ;)

What about you? What are your thoughts on the book?
Please comment below or link your own book review to this post.

Next book in the Summer Book Club:
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

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  • I liked the book quite a lot, and one of my favorite quotes ever comes from it – “You’ve got a wishbone where your backbone should be.”

    But on the same token, there was something about the writing – Elizabeth Gilbert’s voice – that aggravated me. Something that felt just a little bit disingenuous, and contrived. I’ve never QUITE been able to put my finger on it, but I recently read her latest book, “Committed,” and had the exact same reaction, only stronger.

    Actually, the passage you quoted is a good example: I find it hard to believe that she didn’t notice the coincidence of the three nations she visited starting with “I,” until after the fact. Gilbert was a published, successful author long before this particular book – she knows the business – so I would venture a guess that she deliberately chose those three nations for that precise “auspicious” reason, and used it to her advantage in her book proposal.

    Which is absolutely, 100%, totally fine. But don’t blow smoke up my ass and try to convince me that there’s some serendipitous element at play.

  • Looks like the book spoke to you. I really like the Rome part but the rest was really flat and boring to me. Kinda wierd since I practice yoga and buddism. You would think I would relate more. O’well.

    This book did inspire me to travel to Rome. The hubby and I are going in February and we are just going to soak in Rome with no fussy travel throughout the rest of Italy. ( except one day in Pompei) I have never been to europe so I am really looking forward to this trip.

  • I will go with you if you ever decide to go on a “soul searching” travel adventure! I thought the exact same thing when I read the book- it made me want to do what Gilbert did- just get up, leave and go traveling!

  • I had the interesting experience of listening to the audiobook version of this book, with the author as the reader. It felt like story time throughout, which was fun. I did find it a teeny bit contrived, as noted above, but I loved it in spite of that. I also found the Italy section the most inspiring-probably not surprising, as I love to eat!