Monday, 8 September 2014

Book Review | Eat, Pray Love

Eat, Pray, Love is the 2006 autobiographical novel by Elizabeth Gilbert, which was turned into a film as well in 2010. It is one of my all time favourite books, and I've read it multiple times since reading it for the first time on holiday in Turkey when I was 19. It is one of the most inspiring books, and I always feel so empowered and ready to take on a challenge after reading it. The film is a pretty good adaptation too which made the magic of the book last a little longer! 

Update - this year (2016) a new book has been released called "Eat, Pray, Love Made Me Do It" and I'm currently working my way through this book now. It's just as inspiring as the book itself, and it's so nice to read the stories of what this lovely book empowered people to do!

  The story follows Elizabeth who decides, after "a bitter divorce and a rebound fling" that she wants to head off into the world, specifically Rome, India and Bali, to refresh herself and realise what she has. Starting off in Rome she learns Italian which is something she always wanted to do. I think this is a lovely part of the story because for me it shows her to invest in herself and the things she has always wanted to do. Investing in yourself is one of the most important things you can do, and I love that Liz is an advocate of this!

 She then heads to India. As a religious studies student this section of the book really appeals to me as it is about her time in an Ashram in India. I loved hearing about some of the religion in India and about Elizabeth finding enlightenment in this Ashram. However, I was actually writing a dissertation on gurus, and I suggested looking at this and apparently there was some uproar about the guru that she followed in the novel although I'm not quite sure what it was. I did still find it interesting though and in my opinion it still has some worth because it was Gilbert's personal experience of religion in India. I did enjoy reading about Liz's determination to get something out of her time in her Ashram despite struggling a bit at the beginning.

 Onto Bali, and we meet a medicine man. This is one of the loveliest parts of the novels for me. Elizabeth helps a friend with little money to be able to build a house which is one of my favourite bits of the book, it's so nice to see everyone coming together for this woman and her family. By now, Liz has learnt to let herself be who she wants to be. The blurb says that being in Bali leaves 'her ready to love again' through the medicine man helping her to find peace and I definitely think that sums it up well. Liz meets a man here, and it is so nice to see her find happiness at the end of her journey (or, you could say the beginning!). 

 Overall, I just really love the way this book is written and I find it so inspiring. It makes me want to travel and see amazing places, learn more about religion and wander around Italy eating pasta and gelato whilst following what I want to do, and who I want to be. For me, the story of Eat, Pray, Love is a transformative novel both for the reader, and for the author! I can't wait to read this book again...

 Have you ever read Eat, Pray, Love? What did you think of it?


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