Book name : Eat, Pray Love- One woman’s Search for everything across Italy,India & Indonesia.
Author : Elizabeth Gilbert
Genre : Spiritual memoirs
My rating : 4/5
The book is sensual,spiritual,funny and serious all at the same time.This is probably the first spiritual memoirs i have read and i am not disappointed.Eat Pray Love chronicles Liz’s journey to sanity after a very traumatic divorce.Liz takes a year off her “life” and decides to EAT,PRAY and LOVE. the book is divided into 109 chapters ,symbolically representing the Japa mala which has 108 beads.The 109th bead is for thanking the teachers.These 109 chapters are further divided into 36 chapters each devoted to the pursuit of Eating,praying and Loving.
Liz gallivants across Italy with the sole purpose of eating beautiful food.This part of the memoirs is very light and Liz’s wit sparkles in the pages..Liz describes beautiful food and her hunger for gelatos.Funnily,the book reminded of the book Conversations with God.But,this part of Eat Pray Love is definitely more engaging and almost chick-lit-ish!.
The second part of the book was a little dense.The part in India,where she goes to pray.The humour that sparkled in the first half almost dries up,replaced by a serious narrative that describes Liz’s struggles with taming her mind.She stays in an Ashram (edit: in the outskirts of ) Mumbai,scrubs floors,meditates,battles fears and demons and emerges cleansed.This is a boon for people like me who have 10 books about alternative religions with them,yet don’t have the urge to read any of them as they are dense and tiring.Liz does compare notes about various religious ideologies.She seems so learned and spiritual at this point.
The final 36 chapters of the book deal with Liz’s journey to Indonesia to find a balance between her spiritual-seeking and pleasure seeking nature.Yeah,that’s where she meets the love of her life after almost one and a half years of celibacy.This part again is fun and full of interesting tit-bits on Bali’s Socio-cultural aspects. Very engaging read.
All in all,a beautiful book.Hugely popular.Some critics have panned it saying that it has a very Chick-lit-ish approach to spiritualism.My take is that this is what makes the book what it is.. Funny ,poignant and yet serious.You can’t help but like Liz and her motley group of friends at the end of the book.Wonderful book that lets us have a peak inside a troubled mind going to divorce.At the end of the designated year of eating,praying and Loving,Liz is rid of her negative thoughts and feelings about divorce. She doesn’t however say that these will be kept at bay for ever as spiritual good health is something that has to be constantly strived for.If not given timely overhauls,the weeds will grow right back and draw you back to the negative circle.
I loved it.A book i would want to gift my best girlfriends(in the words of Julia Roberts!!).. A higly recommended read.