Non-Fiction / Memoir

Eat, Pray, Love

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

Published By:
Penguin Group

Reviewed by Dorothy Doremus


            After seeing the movie trailer for Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts, I wasnít quite sure what to expect.  The trailer left me asking what this movie was about.  Now, I love Julia Roberts and know that she only picks good projects, so I said to myself, ďWhy donít I pick up the book the movie is based on and see what this is all about.Ē

            The story begins with Liz on the bathroom floor of her home, having a nervous breakdown while her unsuspecting husband sleeps in the next room.  Liz realizes she is really unhappy with her life and needs to make a change by taking a year off and rediscovering her spiritual side and happiness.

            After settling her divorce, Liz is on her way to Italy to study the Italian language.  At this point, she has never been without a man in her life and battles feelings of loneliness and depression.

            Eventually, Liz takes refuge in the wonderful Italian food and makes a lot of friends with whom she makes a very strong connection.  Liz overcomes sadness and lets go of the husband she once loved.  She allows herself to let go and just enjoy the gelato.

            Four months have passed and, after gaining a significant weight with all of the pasta eating, Liz is off to India to study at the ashram of a remote city.  Liz writes so well of her adventures in India that I wouldnít mind going there and I have had no desire to travel to India before. 

            At the Ashram, Liz finds herself frustrated at first.  She canít concentrate to perform her meditations, get her boyfriend David off her mind or recite the Gurugita each morning at 4am.  She befriends Richard, a man from Texas who refers to Liz as Groceries due to the amount of food she can put away.  Richard eventually gets Liz to embrace her spiritual side and talk through her problems.  He is actually one of my favorite characters and I was kind of hoping Liz would end up with Richard in the end.  I loved seeing Liz go from vulnerable to frustrated to enlightened.  The transformation was really remarkable but fun at the same time.

            After her time at the ashram, itís off to Bali where Liz travels to keep a promise to a local medicine man she befriended years earlier.  Liz visits Ketut Liyer, the medicine man who wanted her to teach him English while he taught her healing powers.  Liz makes friends almost instantly with a local healer named Wayan Nuriyasih.  Wayan is a single man who wants to make certain Liz finds love in Bali.  Wayan is in need of a home because she can no longer afford to rent the shop she has been using as her home.  Liz takes action and sends requests to her friends to gather money for a home.

            In the meantime, Liz meets Felipe, an expatriate from Brazil who offers her a ride home after a party.  Felipe was not someone Liz was looking for, but they do fall in love and with that, round out Lizís year of self-discovery.

            I didnít like this novel - I loved it!  The writing was amazing.  The tale needed to be told.  Eat, Pray, Love makes you feel like you are wasting time by not going on a self-discovery journey.  Elizabeth Gilbert didnít get caught up in flowery details, but got to the point with humor and understanding.  Pick up your copy of Eat, Pray Love today!


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