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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India And Indonesia » User review

An amazing mix of feelings, thoughts and experiences

  • May 21, 2010
Rating:
+3
I originally bought this book 1 1/2 years ago at the recommendation of a friend or coworker (I no longer remember who). It sat on my TBR (to be read) shelf until a few months ago when I decided that it was time to get it read. Having just finished it, I wish I could go back to that day in 2008 when it arrived in the mail from Amazon and read it right away. Then again, perhaps I wasn't ready to read it until now.

If that last line sounds like New Age hooey to you, then you are not likely to enjoy this book. Ms. Gilbert's real-life adventure is divided into the three segments of her year-long adventure around the world. Part 1, Italy, was to me the least interesting part of the book. I enjoyed it okay while I was reading it, but it didn't inspire me to keep picking up the book or to read late into the night in bed like the other two parts did. In fact, I've already forgotten most of it. Part 1 was, to me, the surface stuff.

Part 2, India, finds Liz living in an Ashram, spending hours every day meditating and scrubbing floors. She meets a guy there (not romantically) who she calls only "Richard from Texas." Richard is quite a few steps up on the spiritual ladder from where she is when she arrives, and he helps her get her head on straight, to see what really matters. Part 2 is her spiritual journey. To me, it was her transition from neuroses and "It's all about me." thinking to finding peace and spirituality and strengthening her relationship to God.

In Part 3, Indonesia, Liz returns to Bali and seeks out an old Balinese medicine man (Ketut) who had read her palm in the past. Through him, she furthers her meditative and spiritual journeys. She also meets a female healer, Wayan, who becomes a dear friend. Both of these people figure hugely in her time in Bali and in her life. Both are very interesting characters, and it is quite fascinating to read about Balinese culture, especially in regard to Wayan.

I have long had a habit of using tape tags to mark pages I read where a passage touched me, resonated with me in some way, or its writing was especially beautiful or profound. I have many such tags marking the pages of this book. I was quite impressed with Ms. Gilbert's writing. I can't always say I liked her while reading about her year of travel, but I can honestly say that I was, at times, moved, inspired and even awed by her ability to express her thoughts and feelings.

Finally, it must be noted that she finds love in the final chapter of her journey, though she remarks that this man didn't save her--that she saved herself--and I was quite happy that it happened this way, because I've read too many books about supposedly strong women who didn't get it together until Prince Charming waltzed into her life and made it all possible. I've nothing against love; I just think that we must each take ultimate responsibility for who we are and how we make our way in this life.

I'm very glad that I've finally read the book and recommend it.

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September 08, 2010
I hated this book but am glad you enjoyed it. Nice review.
September 08, 2010
I'm curious...what bothered you about the book? I've heard several people say they were bothered by her (Liz's) selfishness and self-absorption.
September 08, 2010
Sheri, that's exactly what bothered me.
 
July 13, 2010
Thanks, ladies! I just loaned it to a neighbor this past weekend...loaned it to the husband after his wife passed on it. I'll be curious to hear a male perspective. :)
 
July 13, 2010
My book also sat for awhile before i finally read it. Nice write up.
 
May 21, 2010
I'm not really one for New Age-y "hooey" (I like that word!), yet based on your reviews and things I've heard about it, this book still speaks to me.  I may just check it out.  Thanks, Sheri!
 
1
More Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's S... reviews
review by . December 04, 2010
Eat Pray Love is a wonderful book that I would recommend to any woman.  The main character decides to leave her marriage and in an attempt to find herself, she travels to Italy, India and Indonesia.  In Italy she learns to eat, in India she learns to pray and do yoga with the masters, and then she finds love again while in Indonesia.            
Quick Tip by . September 19, 2013
romantic, sweet, meaningful, let's know what is love, emotion and how to be with the one to make happier life
review by . June 02, 2010
I read every book I find about people moving to foreign countries and starting a new life, Provence, Cortona, New Zealand, etc. So of course, I excitedly grabbed "Eat, Pray, Love" when I first saw it!      Reading this book makes one really want to leave everything behind and embark on a trip, take a chance, meet new people see new things. The writer did just that. The author went to Italy to eat, India to pray and Indonesia to love. But she went to all to seek, learn …
review by . July 03, 2010
Eat, Pray, Love is a delightful indulgence of adventure and discovery. Tales of author Elizabeth Gilbert’s travels through Italy, India and Indonesia are told through a creative arrangement of a “string” of 108 pieces, reflecting the 108 prayer beads of an Indian “japa malas.” Three separate sections, then, represent the three visited countries, as well as a sense of “supreme balance” that Gilbert aimed at attaining through her year-long journey. I bought …
review by . July 06, 2010
If you love to travel and hear about different places all of the world, this is a great read.  The book takes place in three different countries, Italy, India, and Indonesia.  As I read this book, and learned of the author's experiences, it made me think of why I would want to experience the places myself. You get a personal perspective on the destinations and uniqueness of each place. Each country during this journey is a part of the author's emotional change and rediscovery …
review by . June 21, 2010
Alert: This review contains many spoilers!         As I was reading Eat, Pray, Love I really felt a  connection to Gilbert.  In the beginning, she traveled to Italy seeking pleasure after her failed marriage.  After she literally indulged in the Italian culture  she ventured off to India.  Her mission was to seek devotion at the ashram.  At this point, I probably felt strongest connection to her. While at the ashram she describes her vulnerability …
Quick Tip by . April 22, 2011
Narcissistic in the extreme, white middle class fantasy trips, kind of predictable insights, really her video after the book was much better than the book.
review by . July 13, 2010
    The best thing about this book is how real the author is. She has a moment where she  is on the floor crying, and for me that is very relate-able. I think we all have moments in life where we sort of lose it and just do whatever feels right at the time even if it does not make any sense. This book will help you to take a hard look at yourself and will help you discover some balance. The author takes you through what she did to find herself.      …
review by . August 17, 2010
Tell me that the ennui and despair that author Liz Gilbert describes in her memoir "Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia," hasn't been experienced at least once by any modern man/woman in the Western world attempting to juggle and succeed at rearing a family, sustaining a fulfilling marriage and pursuing personal dreams while maintaining a solid sense of self identity. It goes with the territory of growth. Mindful people question the phases and stages …
review by . June 26, 2010
It seems that every good book I read somehow becomes a part of me. I know that "Eat Prey Love" was deeper and more beautiful than I could have fathomed, personally it was enriching, educational and reassuring, not to mention a fun summer read that I'm happy to say I enjoyed tremendously. There are so many books out there and each has a different meaning and reaction, this is not only healing but also a nice reminder that when life is joyous and happy, it means I have succeeded and I need to stay …
About the reviewer
Sheri ()
Ranked #71
I have been a customer reviewer on Amazon.com for well over a decade and an Amazon Vine reviewer since the program began. I enjoy writing product reviews that will help customers make a buying decision. … more
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Wiki

Emotionally wrung-out from her divorce, the painful ending of a subsequent love affair, and a general, long-standing feeling of malaise, novelist and journalist Elizabeth Gilbert decides to recharge herself through a year's worth of travel, believing that her return to happiness could be found through exploring both physical gratification and spiritual peace, and then determining an appropriate balance between the two. She pursues the first part of her program (eating, drinking, and talking) in Italy, the second in India (joining an ashram), and the third in Bali (studying with a medicine man).
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Details

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Genre: Memoir, Non-fiction
Publisher: Viking Adult
Date Published: February 16, 2006
ISBN: 0670034711
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1984 (British first edition)

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