Sunday, August 17, 2008

Living to tell . . .

I just finished Elizabeth Gilbert's eat pray love, a memoir about a year she spent abroad coming to terms with herself, her life, and her choices.

After a heart-wrenching divorce and a failed rebound relationship, Gilbert decided to spend a year abroad, dividing her time between three countries: Italy (learning Italian and eating tons of delicious food), India (learning about prayer and meditation), and Indonesia (trying to find the balance between earthly pleasures and the divine).

What was interesting about this novel: Gilbert is a great writer, and the novel is written in a conversational style that I really like. You finish the novel feeling as though Gilbert is someone you know, a friend. I also liked the concept of the book - visiting different places for specific reasons in order to somehow learn more about yourself and life in general. (I love traveling, and I think it teaches you alot.) I found Gilbert's journeys very interesting, and she weaves a good bit of history and philosophy into this book, which makes reading it educational as well as entertaining. I liked the section about her time in Italy best, as I have a fascination with that country. (Though one comes away from the book with a nearly palpable longing to visit Bali.)

What became tiresome: Gilbert is the kind of person who has to spend a year abroad to work out her issues. This can be grating at times. There were moments when I wanted to shout, "Quit whining! Suck it up, girl! You are a well-paid writer, traveling the globe! It ain't that bad!" Gilbert herself acknowledges this, though, because she is nothing if not self-aware. In fact, she may be a bit *too* self-absorbed.

Regardless, though, I enjoyed reading the book. I loved some of the ideas about religion that Gilbert included, and it has definitely piqued my interest in yoga.

Worth reading.


Sandi said...

You mentioned this at the last book club meeting. It sounds like a good read ... thanks for the review!

DesertMama said...

Sounds like great read. Thanks for posting about it.

Beth Blair