Book Review: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

6:00 PM Shannon McLeod 0 Comments

I recently finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love. I had been wanting to read this book ever since the movie came out and my mom couldn't stop talking about it. I decided to buy the book when I saw it on the clearance rack at Books-A-Million a couple of months ago. I went to Books-A-Million because I had a giftcard from last Christmas to use. I have never been so grateful for a giftcard in my life.

Summary: The memoir follows Gilbert on her journey to finding peace with herself after a nasty divorce and unsettling heartbreak with the man she clung to after her divorce. Gilbert decides to go to Italy, India, and Indonesia for four months each after remembering a prophecy a medicine man in Bali told her two years ago about her return to Indonesia. Gilbert breaks her memoir into three sections: Italy, India, and Indonesia. Each section details a different trait that Gilbert is working on: pleasure, prayer, and balance. If you'd like to know more about the book, I will link the book's Amazon page here.

Do not read any further into this post, unless you have read the book or enjoy spoilers.

When I first started reading the book, I disliked it immensely. Gilbert kept repeating the same thought in a different way page after page. She was unhappy. Her husband was never going to forgive her. She didn't deserve to be happy. And so forth. I disliked her helplessness and inability to see that she had to forgive and love every part of herself in order to be happy. I knew that her repeating herself had to happen, because when we have problems in real life, we tend to repeat them over and over again to anyone who will listen. We do this because we are unable to think clearly after continuously overthinking and overanalyzing every detail. I began to accept Gilbert's inability to see the solution right in front of her and continued to read on, knowing that she would find it in due time.

I liked reading about Gilbert's time in Italy. I often wished that I could trade places with her and eat the authentic Italian food she got to enjoy every day for four months straight. I think that it was best Gilbert started off in Italy, because after a life of relying on others, she needed to learn how to enjoy being on her own and doing the things that she wanted to do. She had to discover which pleasures made her happy in order to come into herself.

I enjoyed Gilbert's development in India very much. Gilbert's finding of herself through meditation during her stay in the ashram showed me just how powerful our thoughts are. Our thoughts influence the way we see the world, how we interact with others, our every day actions, etc. Gilbert was able to find a different version of herself through prayer. I think she learned that there are other ways to find happiness and parts of yourself than just indulging in your wants. You often have to work hard for who you want to be and the things that you want, and her struggle with finding that ability within her benefited her immensely. Once she was able to see this other side to the balancing act, she was well on her way to internal happiness.

After Gilbert arrived in Bali, I knew she was almost there. She just needed to learn how to balance pleasure with prayer. Fun and seriousness. Finding love taught Gilbert how to balance the two. She was able to have fun and indulge in pleasure, but also saw that she had to take care of herself and be her own person, separate from her lover. She went through a phase where she didn't meditate but quickly realized that she had to do that for herself.

I am glad Gilbert was able to grow, change, and evolve into the woman she was meant to be. She healed her own soul and learned how to be her own person. If I were to rate this book, I would give it 4.5/5 stars.

Have you read Eat Pray Love before? If you have, let me know what you think of it!


Check out my previous blog post here.

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