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Eat Pray Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia Paperback – June 29, 2010
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"An engaging, intelligent, and highly entertaining memoir."—Time
"A meditation on love in its many forms—love of food, language, humanity, God, and most meaningful for Gilbert, love of self."—Los Angeles Times
"This insightful, funny account of her travels reads like a mix of Susan Orlean and Frances Mayes."—Entertainment Weekly
"This is a wonderful book, brilliant and personal, rich in spiritual insight."—Anne Lamott
About the Author
"One of the most electrifying, powerful, simply spectacular memoirs I—or you— have ever read." —Augusten Burroughs Learn more
- Publisher : Riverhead Books; Media tie-in edition (June 29, 2010)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0143118420
- ISBN-13 : 978-0143118428
- Lexile measure : 1080L
- Item Weight : 11.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.74 x 8.42 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #183,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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That’s exactly what she needed - rest. She needed to be strong. She planned a one-year vacation in which she hoped to mend her broken heart and to find peace. She would spent four months in Italy; four months in India and four months in Indonesia. She points out that each country begins with “I’ and this journey was about self discovery.
It’s a must read for people like me who’ve had our hearts broken, and then those hearts never seems to mind. I’m still aching over the loss of my dad and my birth family. I’ve studied meditation with differing results. This book proved a how-to book on how to heal.
Chapters were not intended to be how-to chapters, but that’s what many of them were for me.
Most of us can’t drop everything and rush to an apartment in Rome and then to a retreat in India and then to Bali. But we can learn yoga and meditation anywhere. We can order pizza and make new friends.
If you aren’t hurting and you don’t need the guide to meditation and self discovery, it’s still a great book. The collection of 108 personal essays are fascinating with lots of fresh insights into the human psych and the types of characters that one usually finds only in a novel. There’s Richard the Texan who nicknames Gilbert, “Groceries; there’s the plumber who takes her to the highest spot at the Indian retreat, there’s Ketut the medicine man who is somewhere between 65 and 112 years old and Wayan the medicine woman searching for a home. It’s hard not to fall in love with these characters. Gilbert gains weight in Italy, self awareness in India and self confidence in Bali, Indonesia. And she finds love.
Some chapters are too pat. She discovers the four brothers who are sort of guardian angels we all have. On her way home that day, a monkey threatens her, but she is feisty, and she stand up to the creature. After all she’s got four tough brothers protecting her. Too pat. The chapter was contrived.
The reader is so busy rooting for her that he forgets his own troubles - except to put the book down for awhile to eat, pray, meditate and fall in love.
That’s a lot to get from one book.
Top reviews from other countries
The idea of travelling in order to "find yourself" always seems attractive, particularly to middle aged women.
Initially I found the memoir difficult to engage with. The author is in her thirties and I though she was trying to use this as a barrier to readers. I also found her chaotic thought processes quite complex to work through. What kept me reading through this was the gorgeous descriptions of sights and emotions. I'm not a religious person but strongly acknowledge a spiritual side of the world which seems to escape understanding - this book made me confront that and think a lot.
At one point, the author describes that her spirituality interests her sister from a point of "intellectual curiosity" which I can understand and think this is how I approached this whole book.
During the year, Elizabeth Gilbert visits Italy, India and Indonesia. In each place she looks for different experiences, all working towards giving her some contentment with her life. I struggled with the transitions between countries as they seemed to happen very swiftly. Overall, I found that I was never really given the chance to properly understand the author and gain any deep understanding of her motives - I think I~ would have preferred this book to be three separate volumes.
What I did love was the open minded way that the author approached everything that came her way and the accessible way in which she described her experiences. I partly envy her religion as it does seem the means to a wonderful way to approach the world and everything that is thrown at you.
Throughout the book there are all sorts of little gems which I am trying to remember to make me a better person.
I may recommend this to some friends but will be very careful who I select. It took me a long time to read this book which is an indicator of my enjoyment.
But as It turns out, this book is pretty awesome!
Gilbert is disillusioned with life and disappointed in love, she travels to the three I's:
Italy - where she eats, India - where she prays and Indonesia (Bali) where she finds love.
It's as simple and yet as momentous as that. You'll either read it and chuck it across the room or read it and come away with something profound for yourself. Liz is a gifted writer, I have ear marked, highlighted and underlined the heck outta this book.
I suspect many would secretly love to do exactly what Liz did (I would), but cannot due to commitments, responsibilities and budget constraints.
That's perhaps why there are so many bad reviews, I get that, I understand. But maybe instead of reading it with your defences already up, try reading it like it's fiction. Be open minded and give it a go.
Its a "chick-flick" type story, not my kind of genre so I've not enjoyed it.
The book is split into 3 segments each consisting of 33 chapters. Each chapter is very short, some not even a page, so it's not a huge book.
Part 1 talks mainly about how much the protagonist loves learning and speaking Italian, and how much she wants to get off with her Italian language tutor, and how much weight she has put on.
Part 2 gets a bit better only because of another guy giving her a reality check, otherwise it covers mostly how she can't get out of her own head.
Part 3, haven't made it to this part yet. Haven't finished Part 2 yet. Book is still sitting unloved on my shelf waiting for the end of the world to come and destroy it so I don't have to continue reading it.
Or I could put it in the compost bin...