Friday, February 4, 2011

Book review: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Title: Eat, Pray, Love
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Genre: Memoirs
Subject: Travelling, Spirituality, Culture, Food
Publisher: Viking/Penguin (Penguin Audio)
Release date: February 2006
Length: 11 Cd's, 12 hours, 50 minutes
I got this book: On the book depository

Elizabeth is a woman in her 30's, married and had a successful career as a writer. The next logical step in her life would be starting a family. But she finds herself unhappy and crying on her bathroom floor for nights because this isn't what she wants in her life. She initiates a divorce, which turned out to be a long and painful process. And after her rebound relationship doesn't work out either, she is on the edge of a breakdown. 

After the divorce finally came through, Elizabeth spends a year of travelling around the world to find and heal herself. She spends four months in Italy where she eats and tries to enjoy life (Eat), four months in India where she expands her spirituality (Pray), and lastly in Indonesia where she wants to balance the two (Love).

Personal opinion:
I was actually looking for the movie because I could use some "feel good". But I ended up buying the audio book instead because this book would fit in the foodie's reading challenge. I never "read" an audio book before, and I discovered that focussing on it was a difficult task for me. I couldn't listen to it in the background while doing something else. So when to do this..? Well in bed before going to sleep worked out great for me. It was like being read a bed time story, and a relaxing one at that. Elizabeth is reading her own book and she has a pleasant voice to listen to, which I think is crucial for an audio book. I loved how she managed to play with accents when she was "imitating" the voices of people she met. It made the story come more alive, without going over the top. 

I loved the part in Itally where she tells a lot about the food she tried and the culture. Thanks to this book I actually get to learn a lot about the cultures of all three countries, but it was only in Italy that food was the main topic. I could find myself really agreeing to Elizabeth's look on spirituality since it is close to my own beliefs and this made the part in India really interesting for me. If I would have to choose, I think I actually "disliked" the Indonesian part most. Not that I really did dislike it, but it just didn't touch me as much as the other two parts of the book. This book was a perfect mix for me including many topics I like to learn more about, and because travelling is difficult for me, I loved that Elizabeth was so detailed so it kinda felt I was there too. A thing that really admire is how she was so open about her journey, the difficulties she had, the sorrow and how the journey changed her. The only things that I found less interesting were the parts that she was telling the whole background stories of people she met. I do not mind background stories, but some of these were just a bit too detailed for my taste. However, I have enjoyed this book on so many levels, that I can't give it anything else then full marks! 

Loved it!

Some quotes that I love:
"Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can't even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I'm aiming for, how will it ever occur? Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention. If you don't have this, all your pleas and desires are boneless, floppy, inert; they swirl at your feet in a cold fog and never lift."

"Do not apologize for crying. Without this emotion, we are only robots."

"Where did you get the idea you aren't allowed to petition the universe with prayer? You are part of this universe, Liz. You're a constituent--you have every entitlement to participate in the actions of the universe, and to let your feelings be known. So, put your opinion out there. Make your case. Believe me--it will at least be taken into consideration."

"Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face. You really need to be certain it's what you want before you commit."

"Tis' better to live your own life imperfectly than to imitate someone else's perfectly."

Purchase links: On Amazon and the book depository.
Find more about Elizabeth Gilbert on her website.

Other reviews:By JoV on Bibliojunkie.
If you have reviewed this book and want your link here, please leave a comment with the link, and I will add it :)


  1. Interesting 'book', and I look forward to reading it. What I noticed is that you loved the first and second part of the book, but felt less drawn to the third part, which is supposed to balance out Eat and Pray...

    Maybe the balance the writer has found isn't the same balance you seek or have? Or maybe you're still in the eat/pray phases? Interesting.. ;)

  2. Thanks for linking back. I however love the 2nd and 3rd part best. Perhaps it's because I have been to Bali and I remember all the lovely people and places that I visited and the beauty and tranquillity of that island. And it is truly love that you will find on that island, because it is a paradise.

  3. @belsammael: Like I said, if I "have" to choose. But I think it is more about the culture that I wasn't drawn too as much as the other two parts.

    @JoV: I guess it is different if you have been there :) It always gives it that bit of extra recognition that makes a connection with your own pleasant memories :)

  4. Hi!! I have read both books!! The first was for me the best, there were some good quotes in it, but for me it was a bit too much some times!! Too much good feelings very quick!

  5. I loved the book too! I liked Italy and Indonesia best, maybe because I'm not a spiritual kind of person, so I wasn't keen on all the praying in India.

    I also saw the film and you should too! It was very good, even after having read the book (sometimes films can be disappointing if you've already read the book).

  6. Must be an enjoyable read Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and orignal, this book is going in by "to read" list.