Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Book Review - Eat, Pray, Love

Book Review- Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert ( I have tried to not include spoilers)

There is something about this book that is magical to me. Every time there is a trial or hardship in my life, I find myself wanting to run away. Run away to another country and be something else, find myself again. I think the magic in this book lies in the fact that she does get to run away.

After a horrible divorce Elizabeth Gilbert decides to take a journey across Italy, India and Indonesia. Her philosophy is that she is going to experience pleasure in Italy, pray in India and the art of balancing the two in Indonesia.

At times I hated this book and at times I was entranced. Whenever Liz was going through hard times, I found myself aching, remembering my mistakes. I found myself full of despair, wondering if I should even continue this book.
When she started her journey around the world. I was captivated by Italy. I loved it. It seemed so beautiful from her descriptions. It made me want to book the next flight over.

When she left Italy for India, I mourned. I seriously considered skipping the India section of the book because there was no way it could be as good as Italy. I pushed on ahead and found myself in love with India. In such a simple way, the author taught me so many things about myself. She made me want to be better and want to reach into the deep depths of my feelings and cast all of my bad feelings out. In fact, while I was reading this section about her meditations it helped me let go of a few old grudges that have been hanging on in my life.

When she left for Indonesia I mourned again. How could Indonesia be as good as this life of prayer in India?

She did it again. Gilbert entranced me into Indonesia making me want to leave America and experience Bali. I wanted to lie on beaches and become a better version of myself.

Although I cannot leave my home, my child or my husband, in a way I did. In a way, I fell into sort of a trance when I read this book. My husband even said he felt like I was a million miles away. When I closed the book late last night, I felt refreshed, like I had just finished my own journey of enlightenment but my journey had lasted two days instead of a year. This book made me cling to ideas of change and made me want to love everyone deeper and be a better person.

In all reality, I will probably never step foot in Italy, India or Indonesia but if only for two days I felt like they were apart of me. Helping me to become better, inspiring me to become better.

This book is worth reading, perhaps more than once, when we find our lives going a stray. I was sad in moments, I was happy in moments but so was the author. At times I wanted to throw the book away and at times I couldn't imagine putting it down.

I have read many peoples reviews of this book. Some people hated it. Some people love it. I think I feel a little bit of both. At this point in my life, this book is what I needed to read. A year ago, I think I would have just hated it. Yes, the author is pretty self indulgent. Yes, she is privileged without seeing her privilege but she is so incredibly flawed that it makes her journey real. She doesn't pretend to be perfect.

So read it. It might not be for you or maybe you'll be like me where it came at just the right time and was exactly what I needed to hear.
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