In her early thirties, just out of a messy divorce and a rebound fling, Elizabeth Gilbert travelled across the world to find balance. Eat Pray Love is a memoir of her journey and recovery. Having sold over 5 million copies worldwide, this bestseller has created quite a wave in the U.S. ‘It’s what I’m giving all my girl friends’, says Julia Roberts, who is also going to play the role of the author in the movie of the same name.
When her marriage which lasted six years comes to an end, Gilbert is an emotional wreck. She jumps from her ruined marriage, into a rebound fling, which ends badly. To recover and to find peace and discover herself, Gilbert decides to travel. Italy to Eat, India to Pray and Indonesia to learn to Love. She spends four months in each of these countries doing exactly what she wants to do.
In Rome she battles Depression and Loneliness with the help of pasta and gelato, effectively gaining almost two stone. While travelling through Italy, she explores the ‘beauty of doing nothing’. In India she comes to discover herself and to find answers to her questions. She lives in an Ashram and scrubs temple floors, looking for self actualization. In Bali, she makes friends with an old medicine man, who leads her to peace, leaving her ready to love again.
‘Eat Pray Love’ is neither preachy nor presumptuous. It’s funny, yet philosophical. Gilbert’s open style of writing makes it very easy for every woman to identify with her. In spite of being a non fictional account of her life post divorce, it is full of hope for a better future. She narrates little incidents with people she met, which often have little tit bits of wisdom. Her description of her struggles with her demons after the divorce and how she overcomes them is honest and really reaches out to you. After a year long search for peace, balance and recovery she finds her happy ending in Bali.
Gilbert’s description of India and the people is not what is generally expected from an American writer. She writes about India, the people and the Ashram with a lot of genuine love and respect. She is very strongly influenced by Hindu and Yogic traditions, which comes across clearly in the book, even in the way it’s structured.
On the whole ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ is an unforgettable book. A book which is a must read, for every woman. Julia Roberts playing the author in the movie of the same name is also something to look forward to. Gilbert’s sequel to ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ is called Committed. It’s also out and should be a good read.