Monday, August 9, 2010
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert gives us an amazingly honest account of both a very painful time in her life and a time of discovery. The progression from pain to discovery is illuminating and rewarding for Ms. Gilbert.
When she finds herself lying on the floor of her bathroom crying her heart out, she understands that something must be done. Though she hasn't yet vocalized the decision to make a change, she has taken the first step. Major life changes are traumatic in themselves. Add to that the chemical malfunctions of the brain, as in depression, and you have a recipe for annihilation. But Ms. Gilbert finds help deep inside herself and is able to take the first steps toward recovery.
Accepting her own limitations, she leaves her marriage, choosing to keep the details private. How honorable. She could have used the written word to present herself as the aggrieved, but she didn’t. Instead, she chose to tell readers that it wasn’t the time or place. She moves on. After another failed relationship, and much contemplation, she realizes that she really doesn’t know much about Elizabeth Gilbert, but she intends to find out in a journey of self-discovery.
She takes a year off from her job - lucky her! What she would like to do is learn Italian, pray in an ashram, and find balance. So, for the first four months, she learns not only Italian, but Italian eateries. She searches out the best places to eat. Not as in fancy or well known, but as in “Wow! That’s good!” I really wished I had been there. The food sounded heavenly, especially the Margarita Pizza.
Ten pounds and four months later, she braves a scorching sun to find spiritual contentment in an ashram in India. Besides an enlightenment to die for, she makes colorful friends and finds a deep peace.
When she leaves India, she heads for Bali, returning to a country and a memorable medicine man-cum-fortune teller she had met on an earlier trip. While the gentleman was her motivation, the real connection comes with a woman in a position similar to hers - divorced. But in different circumstances - the repressed land of Bali. Through that connection, Ms. Gilbert meets the love of her life.
You will have to read the book to find out who! You won’t be sorry. Ms. Gilbert is a wonderful writer. Hilarious at times, but real.
Julia Roberts stars in the movie, Eat, Pray, Love, that has just been released. If it is anything like the book, it should be pretty good!