While I read many indie books, sometimes I indulge in a trendy best-seller if it catches my interest. I mean, it’s popular for a reason, right? Hopefully, that reason is it’s a great read.
Now, we all know some duds make it to the top. I’ve put down a handful of acclaimed books for various reasons. However, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is one that deserved its popularity, especially since it’s a memoir.
I can’t say for sure, but I’d suspect most fans of this book are women. We all occasionally fantasize about tossing aside our obligations and exploring the world, and the idea that one woman actually did that is captivating. Gilbert’s words allow us to live vicariously through her experience as she lives in Italy, India, and Indonesia over the course of a year.
For each place, she has an objective. Italy’s is to experience pleasure through food and friendship. India’s is to explore her spirituality. And Indonesia brings the two together in a satisfying balance. But first, she has to adjust to her new (albeit temporary) life.
I walk up the stairs to my fourth-floor apartment, all alone. I let myself into my tiny little studio, all alone. I shut the door behind me. Another solitary bedtime in Rome. Another long night’s sleep ahead of me, with nobody and nothing in my bed except a pile of Italian phrasebooks and dictionaries.
I am alone, I am all alone, I am completely alone.
Grasping this reality, I let go of my bag, drop to my knees and press my forehead against the floor. There, I offer up to the universe a fervent prayer of thanks.
First in English.
Then in Italian.
And then – just to get the point across – in Sanskrit.
In addition to a record of her experiences, Gilbert weaves humor into the tales to great effect. There was an anecdote about an Italian soccer game that was so funny I read it aloud to my husband, and we both had a good laugh.
Some negative reviews I’ve read claim Gilbert was selfish and impulsive to just leave her responsibilities (and maybe she was, but that’s more a judge of character than of the book). To me, the book reads as a fantasy of sorts, a series of what-if scenarios that opens our eyes to new possibilities.
What E books are in your Bookbag?