Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Updated: Feb 14, 2020
Summary: Elizabeth Gilbert has a typical American life: husband, country home, good job. But, when she realizes this isn't what she wants, she sets out on a year-long self-discovery in Italy, India, and Indonesia.
Review: I had heard so many great things about this book over the past few years, but I never had a chance to read it, or even see the movie. When I found a copy at my local library book sale, I had to pick it up. It's as though it was calling me. (Or, perhaps, some greater power knew that I would need this book in the near future and put it out specifically for me to discover.)
Let me start out by saying that I am not necessarily a religious person, so, in general, quests to find God are not usually my cup of tea. However, that being said, I appreciated Gilbert's way of including her own beliefs in a way that didn't feel as though it was being forced down your throat. ("Just swallow Jesus into your heart!!") Instead, she left the idea of a greater power open to interpretation.
Her autobiographical writing style is definitely more of a fit for me than her other book that I read. It was witty and light enough to make it fun to read. Even though I wasn't super into the first part of the book (it started to feel like The Signature of All Things all over again), I was able to get through it easily enough and move on to the parts that really captured my interest. I also really liked how she linked the short chapters to meditation beads, giving it a harmonizing connection to her dedication to the practice.
Each part of Gilbert's adventure was full of surprise, whimsy, and enlightenment as she educates her readers on the cultures of three countries (but, educational in a good way; like Bill Nye). The people she met along her journey were enthralling, beautiful, and eccentric. It was illuminating to see the humanity across the world and how relationships can span cultures because we're not that different.
I will say, I am a bit jealous that she got to spend so much time learning meditation in an Ashram in India. It reminded me of the Bill Bryson book I finished a few weeks ago where I was a bit peeved off at the upper-class privilege to be able to just up and leave the monotony of normal life for such a period of time. However, I don't want to be too judgmental since a similar trip is on my bucket list, and I hope to one day have that same privilege.
Overall, this was an absolute delight that has inspired me to get back to my meditation practice...while eating lots of pasta.