I finally finished reading the book. Yayy!!
To recap, starting with this post here, three weeks later than scheduled, here is my take on the book “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert.
The book is 333 pages long, divided into three sections each covering the author’s travels in Italy, India and Indonesia. The typeset is easy on the eye and the layout makes for easy reading specially when you are not reading the book all in one sitting like I did.
Like many others who have reviewed this book earlier, I got drawn into the book very easily. I could in a way understand her growing disillusionment with her marriage and feel with her as she saw her life unravel all at once. As she traipsed down Italy I rooted for her, relishing the food and giving herself the time to heal. I almost made up my mind to visit the pizza place in Naples.
Given such a start, I had great hopes for the following sections. Specially India. Not sure if it is because I am Indian and because I am a Hindu but I felt the whole section kind of glossed over the whole concept of spirituality. Again it could be that I am biased. There were excerpts in that section that I loved. At this point I think that section is something I might go back to again when I am in a different state of mind and perhaps it will serve up something of value to me. I reserve my judgment till then.
The last part of the book where she goes to Bali – Indonesia to find balance was nice in parts. I loved the description of the Balinese and passing references to their culture. The ritualism, the close knit family compounds all evoked some memories of the culture I grew up in. But in fitting in with the storyline I felt it dragged. By the time I was done with the book, I was glad it was over. May be it was because I felt pressured to finish the book. May be not.
To sum, Eat Pray Love is a light read. Serious in parts, funny in others, written in a very earthy way that draws the reader along with the author on her journey. Depending on the reader’s situation in life, the book might mean different things to different people. I know the sections on spirituality and understanding the concept of throwing away dead weight emotions and hopes appealed to me with respect to my personal situation.
Will I attain salvation by reading this book? Will I be able to go forth with a sunny smile all through my life because of this book? Not really. What it might achieve is that each time I feel weighed by self doubt and tempted to indulge in a guilt trip I might give myself the opportunity to pause and think. To dwell on the infinite bliss within me. At least I hope it does 🙂