Eat. Pray. Love by Elizabeth Glibert
‘Elizabeth is in her thirties, settled in a large house with a husband who wants to start a family. But she doesn’t want any of it. A bitter divorce and a rebound fling later, Elizabeth emerges battered yet determined to find what she’s been missing.
So begins her quest. In Rome, she indulges herself and gains neraly two stone. In India, she finds enlightenment through scrubbing temple floors. Finally in Bali, a toothless medicine man reveals a new path to peace, leaving her ready to love again.’
Now this is my kind of autobiography! I saw the film first and even though the critics gave it a bit of a bashing, in all honesty, I liked it! The book was an impulse buy at €4.97 with any other purchase but I ended up reading it before the book I’d actually gone into Waterstones to buy.
The novel is separated into three parts: Italy, India and Bali and each part has 36 chapters plus an epilogue which, in total, equals 109. Miss Gilbert explains at the beginning of the book that 109 is the number of beads that makes up the Japa Malas (a string of beads used in prayer of meditation). Before Elizabeth has started her story, I felt as if she’d shared part of her spiritual experience in such a simple and clever way. It made me feel uplifted and ready to take on the new, exotic ideas and cultures that would be thrown at me in this book.
Italy truly made my mouth water. Now, Julia Roberts is a skinny-pinny so she could afford to put on two stone as Elizabeth Gilbert did on her four month long trip to Rome. Somehow, I don’t think I could be as reckless, however, I was tempted at the leisurely idea of living alone in the most romantic city in the world, eating the food and soaking in the romance.
India was a shock contrast. Miss Gilbert stays in an ashram, a place of worship and meditation where she has to scrub temple floors to earn her lodgings. The description and pictures painted for me were breathtaking. Glibert’s humour is irresistable as she struggles with teaching her busy, erratic mind the art of meditation but she soon finds enlightenment, as did I along with her.
Bali is Elizabeth’s place of balance. Or as I saw it, her place of romance. No novel is complete without a little bit of lovey-dovey in my opinion and by the time Elizabeth and I got to Bali, I felt lonely without it! However, she finds it just at the right time with the help of ‘toothless medicine man’ Ketut. I’m glad this was an autobiography because knowing there is a man out there like dear, little Ketut makes me feel a lot happier about the world.
The people Gilbert meets on her journey were such a joy to read about and I feel if I were to ever meet the real people, they’d feel like long lost friends. I urge you to read this book. Especially if you are a woman. It’s something every female needs to read just to uncover that sense of adventure and freedom in all of us that most of us so rarely let out of it’s box.