August 21, 2010

Day 315-A Book Review: Eat, Pray, Love

Woke myself up at 4am after a bout of bad dreams and finally finished Eat, Pray, Love-round two. So bare with me. I'm going to try my hand at a review. And yes, I'm disregarding the fact that most people have probably already read the book and/or seen the movie not to mention, I'm also probably the last person to review the bestseller. But because books speak to me gently asking me to listen when I don't choose to listen to much else, I thought this title deserved a few parting words. review of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert:

Cleverly divided into three sections for the three countries visited, resulting in 36 chapters symbolizing Gilbert's 36th year, Eat, Pray, Love is a heartwrenching and provoking account of one woman's quest to find life's balance following a painful divorce, broken love affair, and lost sense of self. In its most simple form, following Gilbert's journey prompts a yearning for exploration. Literally, one yearns to set out on a trip, to explore the world and experience the unknown after catching the scent of the author's powerful trail through the three I's- Italy, India, and Indonesia. But travel is just the amuse-bouche, a taste of the meal to come, though the author's descriptions are naturally pleasing and still, pack a creative punch.

Yet, Gilbert's more poignant exploration calls for a journey into her deepest self: an examination of her failings, an acknowledgement of her achievements, and the subsequent effort to tame the pain, anger, loss, and love that can both constrict and uplift the soul. And while Gilbert's struggles are not born of a worldly disaster or injustice, it's the truth that her struggles are born of the most basic of human conditions, love, which gathers our sympathy.

Here is a story that in all its honest and obvious self-focus, is still easy to forget that it is indeed a memoir. When Gilbert asks age-old questions about the soul, love, the power of prayer, and the universe at work, it resonates with such force that one starts her own exploration. Fortunately, Gilbert openly shares the answers she found along the way, and when she finally crosses over to the other side, we give her a quick cheer and then beg to follow.