Review of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat, Pray, Love was fun, engaging, and an inspiring novel. Many people who love to travel suggested the reading to me as they themselves could relate with Elizabeth Gilbert, the author and the heroine. I love how Elizabeth has structured her novel like a ‘japa mala’, which she referred in her novel as “string of beads” worn by people in the holy sites and Ashrams in India. Dividing the tale in the book according to the author’s age was an interesting style. The three countries highlighted in her novel are Italy, India, and Indonesia- all starting with the letter “I.” It signifies the reason she wrote the novel. It was an account of her own life, her own struggles, and her victories.
Elizabeth confronted the most difficult struggle in her life, the battle with her own self. The first few chapters are quite dramatic. It is quite difficult to understand Elizabeth for not being satisfied with what she already had. She had a good career, a husband, a home and what every woman would wish they had. But as time passed by, she realized that she neither wanted to settle in her married life nor have children. She was broken after spending a huge amount of money for her divorce. She looked forward to travelling and finding herself once again after that. Elizabeth was in a state of utter confusion, knowing that she deviated from the norms of the American society.
When I made my own self-introspection, I felt that a part of me is like Elizabeth. It’s not that I don’t want to get married or have kids. I feel there are still some grey areas in my life, which I want to resolve. There are some points in my life when I question myself is this what I really want. Sometimes I ask myself if I am truly happy with my present situation. As a woman, I felt immensely sympathetic towards Elizabeth. Elizabeth was such an endearing character. Being a woman, I thought I could relate with her and understand her situation. If she was my friend, I think I would enjoy her company. We both love learning a foreign language and travelling in different parts of the world.We both love pizza and reading her experiences in Italy convinced me to go there someday.
Another character in the novel that I love is Richard from Texas. The friendship that he and Elizabeth had made was impressive. Even if it was just for a short while, the friendship between them was honest and true. Richard from Texas always spoke from his heart and never sugarcoated things just to please Elizabeth. Richard from Texas is a kind of friend everyone longs for. Indeed, their friendship is beautiful and they are the epitome of “Friendship Goals.”
Without any doubt at all, I admire how Elizabeth transformed from a devastated and drained woman to a positive, high-spirited, and stronger individual. Her experiences in Italy, India, and Indonesia helped her to a great extent to move on with her life after her painful divorce. Elizabeth pointed out how much and how long she suffered from emotional distress. Those times, all she wanted was to seek God. Her decision to spend some time in India helped to get her negative feelings off her chest. It was suggested from Eat, Pray, Love that sometimes, what we just need is to detach ourselves from mundane things and have a peaceful communion with God. This was what Elizabeth did to seek peace from her past and to herself.
Elizabeth in her novel shared that we can communicate with God in two ways. The first one is through prayer, which is the act of talking to God. This is what we do most of the times. We do a lot of talking. The second one is meditation. This is the act of listening. I admit that I am guilty of this because all my life, I want God to listen. On the other hand, it is a shame to confess that I do not give myself enough time to listen to God. This made me realized that there is a need to work on this area of my life.
I read with more excitement as her life story progressed in Bali, Indonesia. It was funny, interesting and at the same time romantic. I could connect myself with what she shared in her story, especially the Indonesian culture. Eat, Pray, Love is a masterpiece showing how love can come up in various shapes. Love towards God, the opposite sex, friends, food, parents, and foreign language and to your own self.
I enjoyed Elizabeth’s stay in India the most. Every words in her novel are like fire that enlightened my desire to know God and somehow visit the Ashram in the future. Every woman should read this. There were no boring moments while reading the novel. It made me feel that I was a part of it too. It shook me up and made me evaluate myself more on what really makes me happy as a person. Eat, Pray, Love concluded beautifully made me yearn for more. The next sequel of this book is entitled “Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage,” which will be definitely on my list to read this 2018.
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