Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (4/5 stars)

I feel like everyone has probably read this book. I resisted reading it for a while since it is not the type of book that I usually read. Finally, though, I broke down and read it. To my surprise it was a very enjoyable book.

After going through a horrible divorce and losing a good deal of her money/valuables to her husband, the author decides to spend a year traveling abroad. She wants to spend 4 months in Italy, 4 months in India, and 4 months in Indonesia (Bali) and write a book about it. She gets paid in advance for the book and takes off on her journey to write, well, this book. The premise is that in Italy she will concentrate on pleasure (eating, friends, just enjoying life); in India she will concentrate on praying and finding balance; in Indonesia she learns how to love again.

The author has a quick wit and a great sense of humor. It is really this sense of humor that makes the book and makes the author seem, well, like a normal person. The author is cynical and does not try to hide this even in her stay at the Ashram in India. It was well-written and I like how it was organized into small sections. This type of organization made it easy to pick up and read a little bit at a time. The humor of the book seemed to fall off some in the last “phase” of the book; I am not sure why this is. I was also a little disappointed that this book is kind of a series starter in that it leads into another book on the next phase of her life.

The above being said, this book will make you look at every aspect of your life and reconsider it. It will make you think about past decisions, future decisions and spiritual decisions. It will make you think about your day-to-day interactions with the people in your life. Overall I believe the book delivers a positive message; that even the most distraught of people can find balance and peace. I liked her spiritual take on things and I wish it was a concept that more people would grasp world-wide; this is just basically that people aren’t spiritually separate from one another and that all religions are based on the same concepts and are just different ways of getting to the same state of mind.

This book was a fun departure from what I normally read. It was a bit heavy for me. I am not sure if I will read another book by this author, but this book was a good one.

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