Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Eat, Pray, Love

I should have written this last week when I finished it. I felt stronger about it than I do now and I know that'll show up in how I review it. I'll try to key up the memories.

I really liked parts of this book better than others. The book is broken down into thirds. 36 chapters (don't worry...they are shortish) for each experience. She does this because there is a string of beads used for prayer in India (along the lines of a rosary. In fact, according to Gilbert's research, the rosary was devised from it. Sorry. Can't remember the actual name of it)that is made up of 108 beads. It's a holy number. Divisible by 3 (obviously a holy number) and some other reasons. I really should have written this review last week.

Gilbert is a woman in her thirtees who has a successful writing career in New York City. At the start of the book, she is spending some time in Bali when she comes across a medicine man who tells her future. He tells her that she must come live with him for months and I believe it was that idea that sprouted her whole take-a-year-to-search-for-my-soul journey.

She then flashes back to the reason she needed the journey in the first place. When she turned thirty, the time came when she and her husband had decided they would start their family. Instead of simply feeling not ready, she felt strongly that she shouldn't be married anymore. She proceeded to go through an ugly divorce that dragged out for two years. During that time, she lost herself in another relationship with a different man and struggled with severe depression. With her very unique perspective, she found God.

She took a year off of life to see if she could find a balance between being in the world but not of the world (sound familiar?) She began in Italy for pleasure. This was my favorite part of the book. Not because it was about pleasure but her healing and voice are so pure here and I found myself wishing I could hang out with her. I liked her that much. Plus, Italy sounds like a dream.

Next she took herself to study Yoga and meditation at an Ashram in India. While I admired her for the sacrifice and discipline she discovered there, it was still so...selfish and some of her relationships bugged me here. I've never enjoyed the view from the top when it comes from other people. Maybe I'm petty. But I always doubt that they see what they really see. That's not what I saw when I was up there so I think you're wrong. But I know perspective changes depending on whose eyes are doing the viewing so I can't discredit her own sacred experiences. I just didn't enjoy India as much as Italy.

Then she goes to Bali and I liked it less. I'm making it sound worse than it is. I really liked this book. Her writing is so accessible, I felt like I was reading a letter from a friend. She's funny but not always ha-ha funny and several times I really felt uplifted. I liked her point of view, although it isn't mine. I was disappointed with how her year ended. I think she was happy with it though, and I suppose that matters more:)

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