I’m back with another book review, and this time it’s “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert! I’m aware that this is a non-fiction book, therefore there is no ‘plot’ or anything as such, so I’ll have to review this differently from the usual fiction book. Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:
“In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want—husband, country home, successful career—but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed by panic and confusion. This wise and rapturous book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success, and set out to explore three different aspects of her nature, against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.”
As much as I found the premise of the book interesting, I felt that it was hard to connect to the author. I think this is partially because she is someone that can clearly afford going on trips to Italy, India and Bali in the first place—she’s rich. The way she writes about her journeys through these areas feels very touristy rather than giving the sense of herself on a spiritual journey, and that really didn’t help with me enjoying reading the book. Also, the details of her financial situation were pretty irrelevant. She didn’t need to go into excruciating detail about how she GETS those means to go to Bali, Italy and India.
I also thought that the book lingered a bit too much on details of her divorce and her brief lover David. If the book is supposed to focus on her spiritual journey and trying to find a balance in life for oneself, one really shouldn’t linger on a divorce and ex-lovers forever. I don’t claim to know anything about Elizabeth Gilbert, but I just found that part of the book striking me as odd.
Despite the writing being a bit simplistic, perhaps even ‘childlike’ in her wonder at how Bali, Italy and India feel so different compared to America, I still think there were still some interesting parts. Richard from Texas in the India section of the book, for instance, was interesting to read about. I also liked some of the brief discussions of spirituality in the India and Bali sections, but I wish there was deeper discussion of those things. I believe it could be due to the fact that the book was written in a touristy-style that didn’t help those sections stand out.
Overall, I’m rating this book 2.5 out of 5 stars. I admit I haven’t read many memoirs, but I wouldn’t say this one was wholly memorable. It’s worth picking up if you want a quick read, however.