A celebrated writer's irresistible, candid, and eloquent account of her pursuit of worldly pleasure, spiritual devotion, and what she really wanted out of life.
Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned thirty, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She had everything an educated, ambitious American woman was supposed to wanta husband, a house, a successful career. But instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed with panic, grief, and confusion. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be.
To recover from all this, Gilbert took a radical step. In order to give herself the time and space to find out who she really was and what she really wanted, she got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the worldall alone. Eat, Pray, Love is the absorbing chronicle of that year. Her aim was to visit three places where she could examine one aspect of her own nature set against the backdrop of a culture that has traditionally done that one thing very well. In Rome, she studied the art of pleasure, learning to speak Italian and gaining the twenty-three happiest pounds of her life. India was for the art of devotion, and with the help of a native guru and a surprisingly wise cowboy from Texas, she embarked on four uninterrupted months of spiritual exploration. In Bali, she studied the art of balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence. She became the pupil of an elderly medicine man and also fell in love the best wayunexpectedly.
An intensely articulate and moving memoir of self-discovery, Eat, Pray, Love is about what can happen when you claim responsibility for your own contentment and stop trying to live in imitation of societys ideals. It is certain to touch anyone who has ever woken up to the unrelenting need for change.
I wish Giovanni would kiss me.
Oh, but there are so many reasons why this would be a terrible idea. To begin with, Giovanni is ten years younger than I am, and like most Italian guys in their twenties he still lives with his mother. These facts alone make him an unlikely romantic partner for me, given that I am a professional American woman in my mid-thirties, who has just come through a failed marriage and a devastating, interminable divorce, followed immediately by a passionate love affair that ended in sickening heartbreak. This loss upon loss has left me feeling sad and brittle and about seven thousand years old. Purely
as a matter of principle I wouldnt inflict my sorry, busted-up old self on the lovely, unsullied Giovanni. Not to mention that I have finally arrived at that age where a woman starts to question whether the wisest way to get over
the loss of one beautiful brown-eyed young man is indeed to promptly invite another one into her bed. ...
"Finding oneself" is arguably the most difficult subject to write well about, and most certainly the easiest genre of writing to criticize! If you're too intense people will send you up for taking yourself too seriously; but dip towards the lighthearted and you risk being written off as trite. Many critics feel Gilbert has got her tone spot on, but some feel that she has fallen into the latter category by being a little too lighthearted. Whatever the critics might think, Eat, Pray, Love has proven a hit with readers and has already been published in over twenty languages. It is also a shoe-in for a movie sometime soon (rights have already been optioned by Paramount).
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (1156 words).
Elizabeth Gilbert was born in Connecticut in 1969 and was raised on a
small family tree
farm. She is the sister of the young adult novelist Catherine Murdock whose
first book Dairy Queen was published in 2006. Elizabeth went to college
in New York City in the early 1990s, and spent the years after college
traveling around the country and the world, working odd jobs, writing short
stories and essentially creating what she has referred to as her own MFA
After more than five years of sending out work for publication and collecting only rejection letters, she finally broke onto the literary scene in 1993, when one of her short stories was pulled from the slush pile at Esquire magazine and published under ...
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