Archive | August, 2012

Eat, Pray, Love: A Review

7 Aug

My most recent read has been Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I was initially hesitant about this book after reading several bad reviews and expecting to read about a self-indulgent woman who does nothing but moan about how hard her life has been despite the fact that she can afford to go off on a year long trip to ‘find herself’. My hesitations were not entirely unfounded, however I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.


My biggest quibble with this book was the fact that I got little to no backstory about Liz and her husband and how she suddenly found herself crying on the bathroom floor, not wanting children and wanting a divorce. I know that this book is the author’s real life memoirs, and so therefore there are probably some things that she wants to keep private, (possibly for legal reasons), but it would have been helpful to have a little more information.

My favourite part of this book was when she finally set off on her year long trip, beginning in Italy, where her descriptions of the food made my mouth water and her encounters with the lovely sights and people made me want to get on a plane the next day and just spend a few months in Italy myself. I have always wanted to go to Italy so this was a lovely little indulgence for me!

The second section of the book (the book is split up into three sections), sets a completely different tone as she lands in India and hits the ground with a bump after being on a four month Italian high. I enjoyed learning about the culture and religion of the Indian people and learned a lot about the rewards of meditation and inner reflection. Since I am going through quite a stressful time at the moment, what with my degree rapidly drawing to a close, I decided that I would look into meditation and yoga to keep me calm and in control during my final months as a student.

The story does taper off towards the end, as Liz inevitably finds a lover in Indonesia and I found myself getting bored and slightly annoyed that only now I was getting back story about her broken marriage. It seemed irrelevant at this point in the book and like she was using it as filler to cover what she admits to being filled with solely sex with Felipe, her new Brazilian boyfriend. I then found myself taken aback as the story abruptly ends, with her and Felipe sailing off for a ‘holiday’ on a small island off the coast of Indonesia. Exasperatingly. Surely she is already on a holiday!? Oh no thats right…she has come to ‘find herself’…pardon me. There are a couple of pages that quickly tie up all the loose ends about her return to America and all the happily ever afters, but it doesn’t seem enough. So I found the ending slightly disappointing, as I would have liked to have read how she became adjusted to life back in New York after being away in such amazing places for a whole year.

All in all I did like this book, it was an intriguing and inspiring true story. I don’t think I could relate to Liz because, having never gone through a divorce, I don’t know what its like. However I can’t imagine many divorcees would be able to relate to her either since not many would be able to just leave their job and escape for a whole year to such exotic locations to get over it! Don’t expect to feel sorry for her no matter how much she complains about how hard her life has been. This is one lucky lady!

I definitely would recommend this book. It’s a good summer read, particularly if you aren’t going on holiday this year, as it offers a form of escapism from our awful British weather! Enjoy! Ciao!