Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Eat Pray Love - Book Review

So, I know everyone in the world has already read Eat Pray Love, but I'm a little behind the times.  I saw the movie sometime last year, and I had been interested in reading the book since then.  My sister knew I wanted to read it, so she gave me the book for Christmas. 

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (Penguin, 2006) is the true story of a Gilbert's struggle to cope with her divorce. In order to pick up the pieces, she decides to travel to Italy, India, and Indonesia over the course of a year to learn about pleasure and faith, and how to find a balance between the two.

The book is divided into thirds, each third focusing on a different locale.  In the Italy portion of the book, the author describes her quest to learn Italian while living on her own in Italy.  While in Italy, she faces her depression head on.  For the previous few years, she had been dependent on anti-depression medications, and she manages to learn to live without them in Italy.  Italy is mostly about pleasure...specifically food.  I was so jealous while reading this part of the book.  I've always wanted to go to Italy, and the author described it in a way that made me want to go there even more. 

The second section of the book takes place in India.  The author lived at an Ashram in a small Indian town while learning about God and meditation.  Because I saw the movie version first, I was surprised by the deep discussion of God in this book.  The movie doesn't focus on this aspect of the text.  The descriptions of meditation were really interesting.  I've always wanted to learn more about meditation, and this book was very informative. 

The final third of the book takes place on the island of Bali in Indonesia.  Here, the author studies with a Balinese medicine man to learn how to balance these two new aspects of her life.  This is the "love" part of Eat Pray Love, and I don't want to give too much away.  ;)

The downside was that I had already seen the movie, so I kept picturing the author as Julia Roberts.  As always, there were discrepancies between the book and the movie, and as usual the book had much more detail.   Overall, I thought that this was a great book. 

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