“Eat, Pray, Love” – Elizabeth Gilbert

I actually heard of the movie version of this story before I knew about the book that came first. I knew that Julia Roberts was going to play the lead and she is one of my favorite actresses so I made note of it and planned to see it. According to IMDB (Internet Movie Database), it should be released in August of 2010. I would suggest you make note of it as well if it is going to be anything like the book.

Another autobiographical tale (which are unusual for me as I have said before) to add to my repertoire and this is definitely a very interesting one. The story fell into my lap as a Christmas gift and once I mentioned its title  to some friends, it jumped to the top of my queue after numerous raves about the plot.

The book is a story of a woman’s self discovery and healing following a messy divorce and a traumatic period of depression. Gilbert writes from the first person perspective and offers a raw honesty to her book that makes her extremely relatable and connected to her audience. I think that anyone could read her descriptions of sadness and heartache and find a way to empathize on some level.

Her book is divided into three stages that she outlines right away, so I promise I am not spilling any secrets by elaborating here. She plans to seek pleasure in the food and beauty of Italy, spiritual discovery in India, and internal balance in Indonesia. It was no mistake that she visited three countries beginning with the letter, “I” –it was all about reconnecting with herself and finding higher meaning in life.

I struggled with the book at times because so much of what she was doing seemed so selfish to me. Though she repeatedly sought to explain herself for this kind of outlook, it just rubbed me the wrong way quite a few times.

But, regardless of this fleeting thought, this book is fun to read. It takes you to exotic places that most of us have not visited and experiences that forced me to rely on my imagination–which is always exciting.

The book also offers contemplative moments, particularly in the realm of spirituality. Gilbert challenges her readers to think about what spirituality really means, apart from religion, and demonstrates how to find inner peace through the pursuit of spiritual balance.

I would not say that this book is radical, but I would say that it might be considered progressive to some. I found this aspect to be appealing as I love to learn about a variety of things in my reading, but if you do not take any stock into learning about meditation and gurus, you probably will not enjoy this book.

“Eat, Pray, Love” is not one of the best books I have ever read, but I learned new things and I consider that to be a wonderful plus for any book. I would definitely recommend it, particularly to women, and certainly am looking forward to seeing Julia Roberts take on Elizabeth Gilbert in August.

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