For a while, I avoided reading Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Even though a movie was released, I still wasn’t convinced. There was too much fuss about how wonderful it was and I was sure it would never live up to the hype. Recently, I made a trip to the local book store and after loading up a basket of potential greats, I caved and threw it in with the rest. I can honestly say I am so glad I did.
After a gut wrenching divorce that spanned two years, Elizabeth needed to clean the slate and decided to spend a year visiting three separate countries. She spent four months each in Italy, India and Indonesia. And while she tells us of her encounters and adventures, we learn about the past tribulations that led her to take this incredible journey.
She begins in Italy to experience the great pleasures it has to offer in food, language and friendships. Prayer is the next goal when she lives in an Ashram in India. And lastly, a balance of pleasure, devotion, love and life is searched for in Indonesia, mainly in Bali. All the while, Liz weaves in the details of the life that lead her to embark on this path.
There are two main points of interest that has created such a great read. This is an incredible story of one woman dismantling her life to be able to put it back together piece by piece. She had reached the end of her emotional rope and knew she had to turn it around or continue to suffer. To do so, she dropped everything and put her life on hold for a year so that she could, well…have a life. Not many people would be able to do what she did, but the symbolism of the trip itself is what the reader should really focus on if in need of serious life changes.
Most importantly, the way the story is told is what really pulls you in close and doesn’t let you go. Elizabeth Gilbert is a master of the metaphor. I knew I was hooked by page 34 when I found myself crying with Liz over the final details of her divorce. I cannot remember the last time I felt so involved in a story. For the entire first portion of the book, I could not stop craving Italian food. I wanted pasta, heavy sauces, garlic bread and olives. I wanted to eat pastries and gelato and not care about how many pounds would surely ensue. Every path she walked, I walked silently behind. Every hour of meditation gave me solace and peace. Her friends feel like people I have known for ages. And even though I didn’t spend a year traveling in search of my own answers, I feel like my deepest wishes were stashed away in these pages to store on my shelf whenever I may need them.