Eat Pray Love –Elizabeth Gilbert

When I found out that Julia Roberts latest film was adapted from a novel, and endorsed by Oprah I went looking for it at my favorite bookstore and I wasn’t disappointed.

If you are looking for a writer’s irresistible, candid, and eloquent account of her pursuit of worldly pleasure, spiritual devotion, and what she really wanted out of life the ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ is for you.

Around the time Elizabeth turned 35 she went through a depression. She had everything she was supposed to have- a husband, a house, a successful career. But instead of feeling fulfilled, she was consumed with panic, grief, and confusion. So she went through a divorce, a depression, and decided to take a journey around the world for a year on her own.

Eat, Pray, Love is the absorbing chronicle of that year. She learns about pleasure and food in Italy, spiritual devotion in India and falls in love in Bali.

I loved it for its honesty, wit, charm and pure entertainment. It’s a memoir of self-discovery that I needed to read to love myself all over again and to learn that change is good and should be taken positively and that you truly love when you stop caring about society’s ideals. However don’t use it totally for self-help, it helped me personally but might connect differently with you.

Writing about self discovery is always difficult because if you take yourself too seriously you become a bore and if you are too light hearted then you come off as flippant. But Gilbert blends both making her the most likeable writer and not in the least self-indulgent. She writes “my one mighty travel talent is that I can make friends with anybody,” she writes. “I can make friends with the dead. . . . If there isn’t anyone else around to talk to, I could probably make friends with a four-foot-tall pile of Sheetrock “and true to form-she makes a friend out of her reader as well.

She’s enlightens us about different places and not in your usual boring -tour -guy -droning -on -and -on kind of way. For example she describes Messina, Italy, as “a scary and suspicious Sicilian port town that seems to howl from behind barricaded doors, ‘It’s not my fault that I’m ugly! I’ve been earthquaked and carpet-bombed and raped by the Mafia, too!’ ”

It’s quick and easy to read, humourous, not whiny and Gilbert tells you where to find the best pizza in the world.

Even better is that Gilbert rescues herself from her life and doesn’t need or use a prodigal Prince on his white steed to save her. So rescue yourself from boredom by reading ‘Eat Pray Love’ as it’s truly nourishing.

5 stars

Get it at: Simply Books-ABC place, Waiyaki way

PUBLISHED  in The Star September 2010

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