For me, reading the book ‘Eat Pray Love’ was a roller-coaster ride. I couldn’t decide if I liked it or disliked it because every few pages, I’d go from thinking Gilbert was delightfully witty to thinking this was the most extremely self-absorbed person ever to grace the earth’s surface.
In the end, it was like sitting at a party and listening to someone say a long involved story all about themselves, and you’re alternately frustrated and amused. You want to stand up and go, but she’s just so engaging that you keep telling yourself you’ll leave in the next minute—and so you end up sticking for the whole thing.
The storyline follows: A 30-year-old writer has everything she loves, including many popular novels, a husband, and two homes. As she discovers she doesn’t want to have children and isn’t happy, she has a nervous breakdown and divorces her husband. She realizes she has no name as a result of this operation.
Elizabeth Gilbert shares an open and truthful account (which begins with the quotation “Say the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth”) about her physical and psychiatric breakdown after a traumatic divorce and a whirlwind relationship. She describes how she transitioned from despair to a balanced, full life by embarking on a delightful culinary expedition to Italy (eat), a spiritual retreat at a temple in India (pray), and a quest for balance with the aid of an elderly medicine man on a tourist island in Indonesia (love).
At first, I didn’t realize how bad Gilbert’s dilemma was — she just used the word “suicidal” in passing, almost casually — before she explained her drug use and the times when she actually considered suicide. Her tone is always melancholy in parts, but it is also full of humor and wit in others. Some also pointed to her as a self-centered whiner, but to me, she was merely sharing her anguish, struggling to make sense of her life after it had been turned upside down and eventually enabling herself to recover.
Gilbert’s tolerance for such schools of spiritualism and religion helps me to embrace hers as well. I may or may not agree with her practices and principles (for example, there is no such thing as hell because if flawed humans can be so caring and compassionate, then can’t God the Almighty?) It doesn’t stop me from admiring them, though. Gilbert’s take on religion is a refreshing change in an era where religious dialogue can all too readily devolve into scathing insult and physical violence.
Still, for me, the heart of the story is that Gilbert’s quest took her face to face with the only one who can rescue her: herself. Just you can carry yourself from a poor situation to a positive one. “Attraversiamo” (let us cross over) is Gilbert’s favorite Italian expression.
That’s a small review from my side. I hope you have got the small picture of this book that you came here looking for. Do share your comments. I’ll be curious to know your views on this, it encourages me more. Don’t forget to download your free e-book copy. I really hope you like it.
If you are a book lover, you can also read Book Review of Pilgrim Nation By DEVDUTT PATTANAIK And A Quick Review of The Book – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
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