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Book Review: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

August 7, 2010

      

Unless you’ve spent the last couple of years living in an Ashram in India, you’ve probably heard of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love. But even if you have no idea who Elizabeth Gilbert is, or that she wrote a New York Times Bestseller, you are probably aware that Julia Roberts will star in a movie by the same title, set to be in theaters later this month. But before there was a movie and Hollywood and premiers, there was a woman who went through a rather nasty divorce and was then plunged into the depths of a vast depression. That woman went on a journey to three very different countries: Italy, India and Indonesia. And then she wrote about it. Beautifully.
  
  
Now, I’m sure if you Googled Eat Pray Love, you could find hundreds of reviews. Maybe even thousands. I haven’t read any of them (because I hate reading other people’s reviews before I write my own), but I’m sure there are more than a few that are perfectly-written, concise packages of what this book is all about. That is not what this review will be like. Because, really? I don’t think I could summarize this book in a way that would make you want to pick it up. There’s just too much in Eat Pray Love. You’re going to have to experience it for yourself. I can’t do the work for you.
 
 
A personal aside: most of the time, especially when I am reading fiction for pleasure, I don’t want to stop and think about individual sentences or ideas. In fact, if I’m reading a novel and a sentence makes me stop and think too long, it’s usually because I find the sentence awkward and in need of some editing.
  
  
Non-fiction can be different, though. Sometimes when I’m reading non-fiction, the thoughts and ideas are so profound, either in a are-you-kidding-me-kind-of-way, or a Yes!-I-totally-agree!-kind-of-way that I have to stop and linger over the page for a while. Sometimes the thoughts and ideas ring so true or so important, that I find myself turning down pages so I can re-explore them again once I finish the book. I actually go back and re-read those turned-down pages so I can ponder over what made me mark the page. And then I’ll grab my highlighter and highlight the sentences. Sometimes I’ll even take notes on the page once I’m done highlighting.
  
  
I know you know what’s coming next. Yes, I did all of that with Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love: I read the book, turned down pages as I went along, finished the book, re-read all the turned down pages, highlighted meaningful phrases/things I’d like to ponder some more, and then took some notes in margin.
  
There’s a lot of yellow highlighting in my copy of Eat Pray Love.
  
  
Before I go any further, I need to make a confession. My copy of Eat Pray Love has been sitting on my bookshelf for at least a year. Maybe more. Way before all the hoopla and Julia Roberts and the New York Times. I’m pretty sure I bought it because Anne Lamott did a little blurb on the back cover and used words like “wonderful and brilliant” to describe it. Oh, that Anne Lamott–I adore her!
  
Anyway.
 
 
I picked up the book and brought it home. I had high hopes. I tried to read Eat Pray Love. I failed. I tried again. I failed. I just could not get into the book. I couldn’t get past Elizabeth Gilbert sobbing on the floor of her bathroom. I put it in the “to be read in the future” pile. It sat there for a long time. And then I saw the trailer for the movie with Julia Roberts being so darn cute. I knew I’d want to see the movie, so I thought I should probably read the book. And this time, this time, I loved the book. I yellow-highlighted-and-notes-in-the-margin loved this book.
 
 
So. No, this is not a typical book review by any stretch of the imagination. But I will leave you with this: you will be glad you took the journey through Eat Pray Love. Your journey will undoubtedly be different from mine. And I think that’s the beauty of the book.
 
 
Let me know if you want to compare highlighted sections.
  
  
Happy Reading,

       

XO, 

     

Vicki  

     

 

    

 

   

 

  

 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. donie permalink
    August 7, 2010 12:44 pm

    Just finished Italy……on my way to India!

    Maybe we can have a phone date and compare notes.

    Wish we could go to the movie together. 😦

    • August 7, 2010 2:59 pm

      Oh! I wish we could go together, too. Let me know what you think when you’re done with the whole thing. I liked the India section the best. Lots and lots of good things to think about in that part. Let’s definitely chat when you are done! XO

  2. Maddy permalink
    August 9, 2010 12:15 am

    I just finished reading this and I LOVED it!! 🙂 India was definitely the best.

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