Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love: One Women’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia is a personal memoir, but with universal themes. The author describes in detail the depths of her depression following a bitter divorce. More importantly, she writes of how she so courageously changed her life by devoting a year to exploring different aspects of her self.
Throughout the book, Gilbert leaves herself open to new people and experiences, and her non-judgmental approach is refreshing. Her sojourns in each country allow her to experience much more than any tourist. The book does get a bit bogged down and predictable in places-who doesn’t love the pasta and gelato in Italy and whose body doesn’t at first reject waking at 3:30 am for morning prayers?
The literary device of structuring the book like the Indian 108 bead japa mala prayer necklace is ingenious. It is explained in the introduction, which should be read carefully.
Overall, I’d recommend this book.
Published in hardcover-Viking Books 2006
Softcover edition-Penguin Books 2007
Also-a shout out to the coiners of bibliofille. Thanks!