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Eat, Pray, Love

13 Apr

The book starts with an unusual premise – here is a woman brought down by life – divorced, broke up with her boyfriend and completely depressed. Left with meager choices, she decides to step out of the country, travel the world (well, 3 countries) for a year with the hope that this experience will enrich her and inject some much needed vitality into her life. Does she find hope and peace through and in her journey? Well, that is what you find out when you read the book.

Eat, Pray, Love is a memoir of her travels through Italy where she eats, India where she learns to commune with God and Indonesia where she discovers love. Having read a few memoirs myself (Kabul beauty school – avoid it, Into the Wild – can read, Chasing the monsoon – can read), I did not have high expectations of this book when I started reading. But Gilbert’s chatty style of writing is very engaging and is almost like holding a conversation with a friend. Memoirs can tend to get very repetitive and boring, as it is essentially a monologue capturing the world (and culture) from the author’s perspective. Eat, Pray & Love was refreshingly different in this aspect and there was not a single instance throughout the book when I got tired of the soliloquy.

Eat, Pray, Love

All she talks about in Italy is FOOD. Being a foodie at heart, I totally enjoyed it and her success as a writer was evident for me, when I heard myself telling aloud to a friend that I want to learn Italian and stay in Italy for a month (I was being practical wrt timeline πŸ™‚ ). She is very unreserved in talking about her experiences, be it good or bad and her uncanny ability to make friends and talk about their experiences, easily endears one to her.

Next stop is India where she hopes to find spirituality. This is the part of the book that I found most boring and least interesting, and I am not sure if this was in spite of or due to the fact that I am an Indian – I couldn’t figure that out. I thought this whole section was very cliched including her description of the her tryst in realizing God. According to me, she writes best when she deals with people and relationship, and she is not able to convey spirituality and the associated profound insights very well.

Final destination in her journey is Indonesia, where she hopes to find balance. In a sense, the whole book is about finding balance between the worldly pleasure (as signified by Italy) and inner peace (as denoted by India), and she hopes to find this in Indonesia. Her experience living with the natives of the small Hindu-community of Bali and the village is very fascinating. The part about the old medicine man was as funny as it was thought-provoking. Makes one realize, the happiest are those who live with simple or little expectations , and live as close with Nature as possible. In true fairy-tale fashion, at the end of the year @ Bali, she finds her balance and returns back to her homeland much wiser and enriched with her globe-trotting experience.

As I read somewhere, this book is similar to listening to a self-absorbed but engaging friend, who can weave a good story. In a way this book, truly lives the “it is not the destination but the journey” cliche and I quite liked it about the book. It makes you question about the choices you make and the kind of life that you lead, and that to me is the hallmark of a good book – makes me think.

Recommendation: Please Read.

This is my entry to Laksh’s Thoughtful Thursdays where the book of the month is Eat, Pray, Love.

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13 Comments

Posted by on April 13, 2008 in Books

 

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13 responses to “Eat, Pray, Love

  1. Aparna

    April 13, 2008 at 11:28 PM

    Sounds interesting! Will add it to my to-read list especially since I’ve never read a memoir before.

     
  2. Vegeyum Ganga

    April 14, 2008 at 12:02 AM

    I read this book quite recently, and loved it!

     
  3. Vani

    April 14, 2008 at 7:06 AM

    I started this book a few weeks ago but have not had time to get past 10 pages! The last book I read was months ago and to think I used to be such a voracious reader once upon a time (before mommy-dom)!
    The author was also on Oprah sometime ago and it looked like her book resonated with a lot of readers.Nice review there.

    Glad that you enjoyed the review – loved the book, although I took my own time to read through it πŸ™‚ -A-kay

     
  4. Laksh

    April 15, 2008 at 2:25 AM

    Nice review. Yet to start on it. Today hopefully!

     
  5. Jay

    April 15, 2008 at 4:34 AM

    Hey A-Kay,
    Thanks for visiting my blog…I’m reading this book right now and I’m really enjoying it!

    As for interval training, it is something that you can completely do on your own. I would recommend devoting 1 or 2 days from your already 3-4 days of cardio, and never do a session back to back. When I do intervals on an elliptical, I do between 20-30 minutes. I do a 5 minute warm-up, then increase the intensity by either going faster or increasing the resistance for a minute. Then I do an active rest period by slowing down to a pace that is not as hard as the pace I just did, but is faster than the warm-up pace. Make sure you don’t let your heart rate drop too much during this time, or you’ll lose the aerobic benefits of interval training. This rest period lasts for a minute as well. Alternate between work and rest for a total of 20 minutes, and use the last 5 minutes as a cool down.

    I hope I answered your question! You can change the work-to-rest periods as you please; sometimes I do 30 seconds intervals, sometimes 1.5 minutes or even 2 minutes. Change the numbers periodically and change the type of cardio you do in order to prevent your body from adapting too much!

    Come back soon!

    Jay
    http://jlyoung23.wordpress.com

     
  6. UL

    April 16, 2008 at 5:14 AM

    Hey Akay, I know I have lots to catch up on, been so very busy and the weekend flew by with visitors, but I promise to send you that recipe from the book soon, at the latest before the beginning of next week, so sorry for the delay…

     
  7. Anu

    April 16, 2008 at 5:56 AM

    A-kay,

    nice write up on this book….will read this soon.

     
  8. Jay

    April 16, 2008 at 10:03 AM

    Hey A-Kay,
    I don’t have a particular regimen, but what you’re doing sounds good. Just make sure you change up your cardio, incorporating things like intervals, jump roping, running, boxing, not just cardio on machines if you are able to do other things. Also, when you’re lifting, make sure you’re lifting to build strength, not “toning”. This means that you should use weights where you can’t push out more than 10 reps. Intense lifting is great for you because it stimulates your metabolism and you will be burning fat longer than if you were just doing cardio.

    Keep asking, I’ll keep answering!

    Jay
    http://jlyoung23.wordpress.com

     
  9. White On Rice Couple

    April 20, 2008 at 9:19 AM

    I loved this book too! Especially after visiting her website and seeing all the REAL people she wrote about in the book!

    True – I most definitely want to visit Bali and eat the pizza at Naples. – A-kay

     
  10. Spillay

    May 15, 2008 at 1:08 PM

    Hi A-Kay.
    Good review. I agree with you when you say that Elizabeth writes best about her dealings with people and relationships but not with spirituality. I guess, this is what dissapointed me the most…..

     
  11. Suman

    May 15, 2008 at 8:11 PM

    A-Kay, like you, I enjoyed the author’s chatty style of writing. Nice review.

     

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