Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Genre: Memoir
Synopsis: Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life. Setting out for a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures, Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India, and then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Reading this memoir felt like I was at a party, listening to one person tell me a long story all about herself. Yes, her story is quite interesting, funny, enjoyable, and entertaining, but I know I can only listen to her for so long. Sooner or later, I'll feel like walking out of the room just to get her to stop talking! Eat, Pray, Love was exactly that to me.

While I sometimes thought it was self-indulgent, whiny, and immature, for the most part, I actually liked it. Like I said, there are moments when I thought it was enjoyable and entertaining, sometimes even thought-provoking and inspiring. The author, Elizabeth Gilbert, is an engaging writer, and I can just imagine her voice speaking through the words. It was very cool to see the beauty of these different places -- Italy, India, and Bali -- through this writer's eyes. Her points-of-view are different from mine, but maybe that was a good thing. It made it fresh, new, and original.

I do think a lot of people like this more because of their personal and sentimental connections to this book or to the story. I know others who hated it, because they thought it was just about "a 34-year-old whining about her horrible life." Personally, I didn't "connect" with the story or the characters, but I did appreciate and respect the honesty as it is in fact a real person's story. I recommend these to those who like reading memoirs and travelogues. 3 stars!


  1. I am pretty much with you on this one. I thought it was very intelligently written and engaging, but I disagreed with a lot of her thinking and just couldn't get past some of it....

  2. My blogging friends like you have the same thought so I passed on this one but I do want to see the movie and I enjoy Julia Roberts.

  3. Totally agree, couldn't even finish it. She was sooooo self-absorbed.

  4. Jessi - Yeah.. too much crying! LOL

    Marce - I recently saw the movie and thought it was alright. I did like Julia Roberts and the rest of the cast though, so for that I liked it!

    Vampires and Toffu - 'Self-absorbed' is the perfect way to describe it. I know memoirs are supposed to be all about the writer themselves, but there's still always a limit right?

  5. Wonderful review! It perfectly sums up how I felt about this book. I enjoyed parts of it, but for the most part I just got tired of hearing her talk about her life. She is a good writer and I understand this was about her personal journey, but sometimes I wanted to smack her.

  6. I got the movie but haven't watch it yet!! I know Julia Roberts is a great actress but I would love to read the book first. Thanks for the review Jill. And Happy New Year to you!!

    CJ @ Coffee N Crackers
    Latest Review: The Iron King

  7. Oh Wow sounds really of putting, what a shame!

  8. Thoroughly enjoyed the book when I read it several years ago. Loved the wit and honesty. Not sure why so many people are critical. Self absorbed? It was, after all, her journey to find herself. Read the book -- skip the movie, nothing to write home about.

  9. hmmmm...I've read mixed reviews about this one.
    I do want to read it. Sorry you didnt enjoy it much. Thanks for the honest review.

  10. Avid Reader - Thank you :) "Sometimes I wanted to smack her" <- sadly, my thoughts exactly.

    cj - I liked the movie because of Julia Roberts, so for that alone I do recommend it. It is a bit boring though, Haha.

    Blueicegal - I have mixed feelings about this book, but I know some will either like it OR hate it more than I do.

    Kim - I think that this book has a whole lot of fans as well. So many people love and adore this book, and with good and valid reason. So I think it's really understandable that while there are fans, there will also be critics. We can't expect everybody to like and understand the book. There's bound to be people who love it, and people who hate it simply because the story itself is not for them.

    naida - I do recommend it as I think it's different for everybody :) I know a lot of my friends who were inspired by this, and I know others who just couldn't stand it. I'm right in the middle.

  11. This is one of my co-blogger Tracy's favorite books-- I really doubt I will ever even read it but the travelogue aspect you mentioned makes it a bit more appealing. I like that our taste in books at Mrs. BG overlaps but is also very different at times-- keeps it more interesting for me and hopefully for my co-bloggers too.

  12. Lesa - It's definitely more interesting seeing the different types of books you read at Mrs. BG. This goes for me and my sister as well. She's a big reader like me, but doesn't read/like the same stuff I do.