Jeannette's Reviews > Eat, Pray, Love

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
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's review
Jul 02, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: booksihavereadandrecommend
Read in January, 2009

I read this book as the second installment for the book club I recently joined. I was lukewarm about starting it because many of my friends had told me that they hated it, and that they didn't have time to read about some self-indulgent, spoiled, out-of-touch-with-reality, cry-me-a-river, rich bitch from New York City with two houses. Trust me, I totally get it ... as part of my agreeing to read this book, I had to let go of instantly hating the author ... and opening my mind and my heart to really hearing what she was reporting through her international journeys. Having been through a divorce (far worse than hers ... but then again, you can't really compare miseries), and the aftermath and recovery (unfortunately, no one gave me boatloads of money and a year long pass to be unaccountable and frivolous) and then finding love with man 18 years my senior, I could relate to this story in many ways. The writing was markedly humorous at times, the soul-searching was naked and candid, and the confessions of flaws and shortcomings were so honest and sincere, and I loved the fact that she quoted REM on page 208 (That's me in the corner. That's me in the spotlight.) It taught me to interrogate myself in new, different and slightly less abusive ways. I think I learned a little patience, a deeper appreciation for stillness and a tolerance for the things I cannot change.

I do not think this book a tremendous accomplishment for humankind. I do think that the self-discovery and the self-exploration were just collateral damage to her completely self-constructed crisis and self-manufactured grief. But even so, in short, I liked this book. To quote the author quoting Sextus on page 192. "The wise man is always similar to himself."

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