Thursday, October 8, 2009

Book Review : Eat Pray Love

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Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

The book begins with the time when the author is going through a long and bad divorce seeking process followed by a not very promising another relationship, which leaves her in a very depressed state of mind where she has to take anti-depressants to retain her sanity. After a very pricey divorce settlement, she decides to dedicate one whole year to travelling to three countries - Italy, India and Indonesia. In these three places she finally ends up eating alot, praying alot and then loving alot, in that sequence.

In these three countries, she witnesses totally different cultures and lifestyles. She comes to Italy to satisfy one of her cherished dreams to learn Italian. She notices how Italians are masters of appreciating the beauty of doing nothing. They are hard working people but behind all the work they are actually working towards fulfilling their "doing-nothing" ideal. Whereas Americans need the convincing for the pleasure after hard work. They simply do not know how to do nothing. It is not uncommon that Americans go for regular stress relieving vacations but end up not feeling fully relaxed there too.

Then she comes to India for finding and making peace with her inner self. And ultimately she does attain that peace and enjoys the state of meditation. She has narrated this journey of hers very vividly, her inner apprehensions and questions and dislikes for some of the routine things. But ultimately everything falls into place so nicely that she ends up spending the whole time of her India visit in the ashram whereas she had set aside half of her time for travelling within India and visiting different places. She understands that the misery of all humans is love and control and how the solution is so simple to just let go. It is simple yet very difficult to practice every day.

What all we keep searching every day in the outer world is somewhere deep within ourselves. We fail to recognize our deep divine character. We do not realize that there is eternal peace somewhere within ourselves and that is the supreme Self. A guide or a Guru helps us realise our dream of attaining that divine peace. A Guru, with the aid of his own merits reveals the hidden greatness in the disciples.

After successfully spending her time in the Ashram she reaches Bali. She learns another path of peace from an old medicine man, she helps her new best friend realise her dream of owning a house there and finally finds love of her life.

The author has written this book very sincerely without trying to hold back her thoughts or questions anywhere in the book. That makes it an interesting read. Personally I liked the part when she is on her spiritual journey in India whereas her time in Italy was least impressive as most of the time she has written about what she was eating and how good that was. I understand, that part was anyway devoted to "eat" of the title "eat pray love.

But overall a very transparent portrayal of her feelings throughout the book.


  1. Your clear and straight post here resonated with me - I liked the part about author's spiritual quest in India the best too... and I liked the way you summed up - couldn't have been said better: "transparent portrayal of her feelings"... very stark, takes courage to open oneself up like this to the world.

  2. After reading the review, I m all the more interested in reading it.. I am really curious to read about her experience in India.. Its always an eye opener to see something you have known for years from others point of view..

    Thanks Vibha for dropping to my blog.. I saw some of your sketches too and I hope to put mine online sometime soon.. Cheers


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