Sunday, April 29, 2007

Eat, Pray, Love

Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love chronicles a year in her life when she spends four months in Italy learning the langauge and eating, in India meditating and seeking peace, and in Indonesia finding balance and ultimately love. Gilbert had just gone through a terrible divorce and that process left her defeated, depressed and disheartened. This journey helps her rebuild.

Given the destinations and the mission, I expected a lot from the book. I was disappointed. There are some great anecdotes and she meets some fascinating people like Richard from Texas who's at the ashram in India and Wayan, an Indonesian healer who's a single mom in a culture that has no place for such women. The observations others make here are often insightful, while Gilbert's own thoughts are often obvious Hinduism 101 stuff.

Her tone is just too cute for me. She's 35 during this year and she tries so hard to be likeable and cute. I can only take so much of that in real life or in literature. Thus it took me weeks to read a book I should have sped through. I did learn about Bali, which isn't the peaceful paradise the tourist board claims. Their history is quite violent and bloody. (I still would like to visit.)

A book to get at the library, not one you need to buy.

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