Elizabeth Gilbert’s,“eat pray love”, is an engaging memoir about a woman’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual journey to restore a life that has gotten out of control. Elizabeth Gilbert is a well known writer who has been a finalist for the National Book Award (among other awards) but I had never read anything she had written. “eat pray love” is one of those books that felt I should read to find out what all the fuss was about. I enjoyed this book mainly because Gilbert is a good writer and her self-deprecating humor and adventurous spirit made it such an enjoyable read.
Her first journey is to Italy in search of great food or pleasure, hence the “eat”. I enjoyed her descriptions of Italy, her earnest desire to learn the language, to meet the people, and to eat the wonderful food. On the way she made you feel that food can truly feed the soul as well as the body. But, my favorite part of book was the “pray or devotion” section, in India. The author goes to great lengths to explain the practice of Yoga and meditation as she encountered it in an ashram in India. It wasn’t an easy journey. She put her heart and soul into her practice of yoga and meditation in this remote ashram and she brings the reader with her every painful step of the way. I didn’t want this section to end. But, after 36 chapters, she was off to Indonesia, specifically, the tiny Hindu island of Bali in search of “love or balance”. There are some very comical parts of this section as she “hangs out” with her medicine man and learns the history of his life. Her life in Bali is, "ridiculously free". She falls in love with a wonderful man, which, as a reader, I felt was somewhat contrived. But, apparently, Elizabeth Gilbert really did marry the man she met in Bali and they are living happily ever after in New Jersey!
“eat pray love” seems to be a great formula to repair a life and a worthwhile journey for any reader.