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Eat, Pray, Love

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A celebrated writer's irresistible, candid, and eloquent account of her pursuit of worldly pleasure, spiritual devotion, and what she really wanted out of life.

Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned thirty, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She had everything an educated, ambitious American woman was supposed to want—a husband, a house, a successful career. But instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed with panic, grief, and confusion. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be.

To recover from all this, Gilbert took a radical step. In order to give herself the time and space to find out who she really was and what she really wanted, she got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the world—all alone. Eat, Pray, Love is the absorbing chronicle of that year. Her aim was to visit three places where she could examine one aspect of her own nature set against the backdrop of a culture that has traditionally done that one thing very well. In Rome, she studied the art of pleasure, learning to speak Italian and gaining the twenty-three happiest pounds of her life. India was for the art of devotion, and with the help of a native guru and a surprisingly wise cowboy from Texas, she embarked on four uninterrupted months of spiritual exploration. In Bali, she studied the art of balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence. She became the pupil of an elderly medicine man and also fell in love the best way—unexpectedly.

An intensely articulate and moving memoir of self-discovery, Eat, Pray, Love is about what can happen when you claim responsibility for your own contentment and stop trying to live in imitation of society’s ideals. It is certain to touch anyone who has ever woken up to the unrelenting need for change.

368 pages, Paperback

First published February 16, 2006

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About the author

Elizabeth Gilbert

43 books32.1k followers

Elizabeth Gilbert is an award-winning writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Her short story collection Pilgrims was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award, and her novel Stern Men was a New York Times notable book. Her 2002 book The Last American Man was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award.

Her memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, spent 57 weeks in the #1 spot on the New York Times paperback bestseller list. It has shipped over 6 million copies in the US and has been published in over thirty languages. A film adaptation of the book was released by Columbia Pictures with an all star cast: Julia Roberts as Gilbert, Javier Bardem as Felipe, James Franco as David, Billy Crudup as her ex-husband and Richard Jenkins as Richard from Texas.

Her latest novel, The Signature of All Things, will be available on October 1, 2013. The credit for her profile picture belongs to Jennifer Schatten.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 57,574 reviews
Profile Image for Michalyn.
134 reviews120 followers
January 26, 2008
Wow, this book took me on a roller-coaster ride. I couldn't decide if I loved it or hated it and it seemed like every few pages I'd go from thinking Gilbert was delightfully witty to thinking this was the most horribly self-absorbed person to ever set foot on the earth.

In the end the overall effect was rather like sitting at a party listening to someone tell a long involved story all about themselves, and you're alternately annoyed and fascinated and you want to get up and leave but she's just so entertaining that you keep telling yourself you'll leave in the next minute--and so you end up sticking through the whole thing.


I didn't hate Eat, Pray, Love, but it left me really unsatisfied. When I first started reading the book, I couldn't help rolling my eyes and thinking "Here we go, another tale of a precious, privileged woman who is unsatisfied with her life." I stuck with it though and was charmed through the Italy section by Gilbert's humor and down-to-earth writing style. Still, for a woman who abandons everything in search of a true spiritual experience, she leaves most of the important questions unanswered. I felt that Gilbert projects herself so strongly onto every place and every person she encounters that I'm not sure what she really learnt along the way.

As delightful as the Italy section was to read, I felt like she never really stepped out of herself to understand the country on its own terms and to move beyond the stereotype. Despite it being a bit of a superficial assessment, I have no problem with Gilbert associating Italy with pleasure. There is enough beauty there to warrant it.It was more her interpretation of what it means to open oneself to pleasure that bothered me and seemed very narrow. For Gilbert this consisted mostly of overindulging in foods and allowing herself to put on weight. It seemed like she came to Italy thinking she already knew how to experience pleasure and proceeded to enact it based on her definition (even though there are indications that the Italian interpretation of pleasure is not merely restricted to this.) I would have liked to see her explore what it meant to devote herself to pleasure just as seriously and reverently as she seemed to take the meditative experiences in India.

Overall though, my biggest problem with this book was I had difficulty at times believing Gilbert achieved the enlightenment she talks about because she is so internally focused. Most importantly I still have not really grasped why it was necessary for her to travel to these 3 places.

I understand that her intention was not for this book to be a travelogue but it begs the question, "Why was it necessary to go to Italy, India and Indonesia if the purpose was to not to gain something from them that could not be found elsewhere?" In every country Gilbert created a little security blanket of expat friends who seemed to cushion her from really understanding the lessons the countries had to offer on their own terms. Why go to India to meet Richard the big Texan Guru, for example? Why not just go to Texas?

For those of us with "eyelids only half-caked with dirt" but who can't uproot our lives and travel to countries of our choosing is "enlightenment" still an option? I wanted Gilbert to talk more about how anyone with an ordinary life but who is searching for insight could still balance spiritual yearning with duty.

And that's my final peeve about this book. I wondered if Gilbert had any sense of duty or sense of obligation to anything beyond herself. Gilbert seems to recognize the bonds of duty that restrict the locals she encounters. Yet, she somehow paints them as pleasurable or inevitable yokes for the people who bear them. Her detached observations of life and death rituals in India and Indonesia as though they are restricted to those parts of the world made me want to shake her and say "but there are rituals everywhere; you have made a conscious decision to remove yourself from the ones you know."

I ask about duty not because I wanted Gilbert to stay in a loveless marriage but because the concept of duty is also linked to a concept of justice. What is it that we ought to do? What do we owe each other?

Part of me felt that Gilbert took comfort in the non-dual aspects of Eastern philisophies in a strange way. She seemed almost relieved that the non-duality of existence would ensure that one would not necessarily be punished by the universe for selfish deeds. I felt like Gilbert embraced that aspect of the philosophy without realizing the equal importance those cultures place on the balancing notions of reciprocity, duty, of being social beings in the truest sense (often taking it to the other negative extreme).

The lack of sense of obligation to anyone other than herself made Gilbert seem curiously dead to the contradictions around her. She didn't seem perturbed at the abject poverty of the Indian women around her, or to question if it was just. She never wondered how a spiritual person should grapple with the injustice of the world, nor did she seem to question the "rightness" of living in the midst of poverty in an artificial environment created to specifically cater to pampered Westerners. In Indonesia, she finally seems to see beyond herself to the suffering of others but when she does try to help someone it seems impulsive and done almost with carelessness so that the whole thing almost becomes a big mess.

After all of this, the end of the book just seemed to fall flat as Gilbert tried to wrap things up quickly, crowning it all of course with a romance with a doting and exotic lover.

This book had a lot of potential but ultimately it seemed like a story about one woman's sense of entitlement and her inability to ever quite move beyond that though she does make some valiant efforts to do so.
Profile Image for MelissaS.
12 reviews268 followers
February 9, 2008
WHY? I cringe to think why so many women want to feel that this was a true spiritual journey. It was a pre-paid journey. The woman starts off with telling us over and over about how painful her divorce was, however she dismisses how it ever came to be that way. Leaving her audience only to guess it was so horrible she had to leave and find herself.
When asked in an interview if dumping her husband and pushing off wasn’t selfish, here is what Ms. Gilbert had to say:
"What is it about the American obsession with productivity and responsibility that makes it so difficult for us to allow ourselves a little time to solve the puzzle of our own lives, before it's too late?"
This statement alone tells so much. A responsibility towards a marriage and spouse is considered an unwanted "obsession" and one's own pursuit of happiness supercedes everything else? If a man decided to dump his wife and family to flee to the Himalayas to meditate we wouldn’t be calling it a spiritual journey...we would call it irresponsibility.
India: This when she got just a little too proud of herself. I grew so tired of her boasting about how all her decisions led to a higher plan of consciousness and a new appreciation for life and a new understanding of the universe at large.
And Bali was even worse. I was hoping the little old guy didn't remember her. Didn't that whole episode just turn out a little too cutely? And then she fell off her bike! She met her doctor friend, and bought her a house. And met an old guy, and then she did things to herself! And then she slept with the old guy. And of course she's better at that than any of us because she is now enlightened. And then she made a little rhyming couplet of a life in Australia, America, Bali, and Brazil. Double cringe.
Italy: The author's angst and shallow self-discovery and pretend real people met with the express purpose of reflecting what she would like to 'learn' (lessons that most of us will have learned far earlier in life before more interesting lessons presented themselves.)
To quote a phrase from the "Italy" section of this book, "cross the street" if you dare to even glance in a bookstore window and entertain a thought of buying this book. Elizabeth Gilbert has no ideas about life. Not only does she have nothing to teach, she has nothing to say. This book is so vicarious that it reveals a profound and deeply disturbing ignorance about the complexities of real life.
The author's observations about life are simplistic and her insights so embarrassingly undeveloped and unsophisticated that she comes across as a detached observer. There are very few passages in this book that reveal any real sense of transformation in her life. She never really seems to glean anything authentic or deeply affecting from any of her experiences. And because she has gained nothing, she has nothing to offer. The reader is frustrated and unable to connect with her on any level. This memoir not only lacks readability, it lacks any real humanity.
She is right when she says that she is not a traveler; she does not have the heart or spirit of a true traveler because she somehow remains deeply unaffected. She is merely a tourist, a spectator, barely scratching the surface of the lands she traverses, the people she encounters, and the experiences of what it means to be human. She fails to see the poverty that surrounds her, or maybe she sees it? She definitely never writes about it, maybe because it is not part of the road to any enlightenment.
In spite of her year long journey she is still unable to gain true insight or wisdom from her pain and struggles. There is no profoundness in her journey, whether it is personal or physical. This book is just a simple walk through a simple mind. She is not even a good enough writer to be able to cleverly disguise her childlike observations in beautifully crafted language. I would rather read the trail journals of a young backpacker any day. At least they are 'real.'
After reading the book, I wondered how it found its way to the bestseller list. I was perplexed by its popularity. So I did some research. As it turns out "Eat, Pray, Love" is an ideal industry example of how a publishing company can "create" a best seller from the printing of a trade paperback. In hard cover, this book only generated mediocre book sales in the year in was published. However, someone at Penguin adopted it as a "darling" and created a hard core campaign to sell the trade paperback.
Well when they said “here’s $200, 000. dollars Elizabeth, now go travel and don’t forget to eat, pray, and love – when you come back I will get you the best editor and we will both feel enlightened.” So shallow, I cringe. I cringe even more for the women that buy into such shallowness.
If you really want to live with intention, live your journey here and now. YOUR here and now.

This book gets Zero stars.
Profile Image for Feijoa.
Author 2 books85 followers
May 23, 2019
Eat Pray Love is the monologue of a Neurotic American Princess ("Liz") in her mid thirties. The first few chapters background the rest of the book, a confessional that tells how she came to find her 8 year marriage distasteful, realised she wasn't keen on the next 'logical' step which is apparently to fill her expansive apartment with children, and plunges into an impotent depression. Without even getting drunk.

One night, whilst bawling on the bathroom floor, a habit she has grown fond of, she is struck by a flakey attack of twattery. Being an American, this experience manifests itself as finding some kind of God or thereabouts*. Naturally, she resolves to leave her husband. Her husband isn't keen on this development, and, Liz finds that, strangely, he takes poorly to having his heart shattered into a million pieces.

Husband behaves badly, and our protagonist feels hurt and sad. But, no matter, because before long Liz hooks up with the sexy, exciting yoga chanting David, who takes a five minute break from his headlong charge toward floaty Thai fisherman's pants, a thin ponytail and male pattern baldness to rattle her well-bred bones. Liz drinks deeply from lust's stagnant well.

But divorce negotiations do drag on, leaving Liz, once again, bawling on the bathroom floor. This time however, it's David's bathroom floor. And David, it seems, is unimpressed by such displays. It seems men are interested in women for their unique and interesting qualities, and unless you are Bob Dylan, melancholy gets old, fast. (Incidentally, if you find a chap who does like this constant emo-drama, then run).

Here's what really bothers me about this book. Eat Pray Love is a New York Times bestseller. It was recommended to me by a friend, a woman, who is a successful publisher in her own right. According to her, this is the best book she has read this year. It's been a short year.

In short, she isn't given to fawning excesses that one might expect from anyone who doesn't think this book should have been printed on softer paper (I think 3 ply would about do it). So I was surprised by her ringing endorsement.

I am told, you see, that women 'get' this book. Which means they sympathise and understand it. I bet its on Oprah's Fucking Book List.

With this in mind, here's what I will say when I am invited to Oprah's Fucking Book club:

[feminist rant:]

Women! You will get to the end of this book and may still be under the illusion that it is not your responsibility to make yourself happy. Whereas, it is, in fact, your own responsibility to make yourself happy. Being happy without being with a man does not trivialise love. You should find challenges, entertainment, fun, excitement, passion, the thrill of mastery and satisfaction of achievement through your own doings, not who you are doing. Love might enhance this. It cannot substitute this.

Can you imagine if men felt so "incomplete" without women? When did is become acceptable for men to be our projects? When did it become acceptable for women to be defined by "their" men?, as if something less than this arrangement denigrates the sanctity of "a relationship". Fuck - until I read this book I thought I'd dealt feminism a crippling blow by jack-knifing the trailer this morning. I look like Susan Sontag in gumboots compared to this book.

In EPL, the author's only explanation for her pathetic simpering twattery is that she is "as affectionate as a cross between a Golden Retriever and a barnacle". This is supposed to tell us why her sex life resembles pollen in a strong breeze.

To her, and all other Oprah book clubbers who 'get' this book: get a Golden Retriever. Or barnacles. Or maybe a Golden Retriever with barnacles. But for sweet knit-one-purl-one-Christ, leave this book on the shelf.

*Post Script; I'm not anti American, I lived there and many of the best people I know are Americans. I have, however, noticed a peculiar enthusiasm for Godliness in the land of the free.
9 reviews16 followers
March 8, 2008
Don't bother with this book.

It took me nearly a year to finish it. I was so disgusted by the writer's apparent lack of awareness of her own privilege, her trite observations, and the unbelievably shallow way in which she represents a journey initiated by grief, that I initially couldn't bear to read beyond Italy. Like others who have written here, I made myself pick the book up again because so many people have raved about it, and I made myself finish it, hoping all the while there would be some redemptive insight or at least some small kernel of originality or wisdom. I was sorely disappointed. Liz is so obsessed with male attention throughout the book (in every section, she expounds in great detail on her flirtations with men, many of whom seem to "take care of her" or compliment her on her wit, beauty, or charm), that it makes her self-described quest to learn to be alone seem absurd and farcical. She does not have a feminist bone in her body; shocking for a woman who is purportedly on a quest for self-discovery after what she describes as a "devastaing divorce." She seems to have absolutely no capacity for self-awareness or reflection in this regard, and her superficial treatment of this and other aspects of her psyche bored me to tears. Basically, this memoir accounts her flirting her way across the globe into a new relationship, with little to no growth in self awareness that I can perceive. Even in India, her purported time of inward reflection, she attaches her herself to the likes of Richard from Texas, who seems a cross between a father figure and object of flirtation. Ultimately, she falls in love with a man much older than she, who seems to dote on her in quite a paternalistic way. When she spends pages talking about her bladder infection from too much sex, I have to question what her intentions are in writing about this? Why do we need to know about her bladder infection? What does it add to our understanding of her quest? To me, it says only, "Look! I'm desirable!" Not so interesting.

Additionally, her brand of spirituality certainly does not come close to transcending the fashionable Western obsession with all things Eastern, particularly Buddhism and the ashram culture. That a Westerner could go to India on her spiritual quest and have absolutely no awareness of 1) her gross appropriation of another culture's religion, and 2) the abject poverty that surrounds her, is inexusable. She oozes privilege at every turn, and that privilege remains unacknowledged and unexamined.

I was willing to look past my initial reaction that the end of a relationship is not, in the grand scheme of things, "that bad;" everyone's suffering certainly has its own validity. However, I was unable to muster much empathy for Elizabeth Gilbert despite my attempts to overcome my disgust at her shallow preoccupation.

Ultimately, this woman had nothing to teach me (other than that I should trust my own instincts to abandon a book when I have such a strong reaction of dislike from page one). I am sorry I spent the time and energy trying to finish it. I happened to read somewhere that she has recently bought a church in Manhattan which she is converting into her personal living space. And this is enlightenment? I am sickened that Paramount has bought the rights to the book for a motion picture, and that she stands to make even more money than she already has on this insipid memoir.
Profile Image for Amy Kieffer.
2 reviews26 followers
May 1, 2008
This was one of those books I will read over and over again. All those cynics out there who criticize Gilbert for writing a "too cutesy" memoir that seems beyond belief and who claim that she is selfish for leaving her responsibility are clearly missing the point. First, she did not write the book to inspire you. She wrote it as her own memoir--you can agree or disagree with how she went about her "enlightenment," but you cannot judge her for how she found happiness. It is her memoir, not yours. You can achieve enlightement by whatever means you want. Second, to call her irresponsible for leaving responsibilities behind is absurd. She was in an unhappy marriage. You cannot force yourself to be happy. I applaud her for doing something that many people are afraid to do. She had no children and so the responsibilities she neglected were minimal.

I also suspect that those of you who didn't enjoy the book could not relate to it. You have never suffered a life-changing tragedy. You have never felt paralyzed by fear, anger, or disappointment. You have never had to go through a healing process that seems endless. You have never felt lost. That's great for you, but unfortunately that makes it hard for you to relate to this memoir.

Finally, those of you who found her story too unbelievable have probably never felt the joy of traveling the world. There is no better way to discover yourself than getting out of your comfort zone and immersing yourself in someone else's.

Traveling the world is not self-indulgent. If doing what we want to or enjoy doing is self-indulgent, then we are all guilty. If you are enjoying an ice-cream sundae, meeting your friends for a night out, or a good work out, you are being self indulgent.

My guess is that those of you who didn't find the value in this book are unhappy with your own life. Perhaps you should be a little more self-indulgent yourself.
Profile Image for Cat.
14 reviews58 followers
May 4, 2008
I am embarrassed to read this book in public.
The title and the flowery, pasta-y cover screams, "I'm a book that contains the relentless rants of a neurotic 34 year-old-woman."
So, I'm afraid that the strangers on the Metro will think I identify with her.
But in the comfort of my own bed, I am totally falling for this memoir. Yes, Gilbert is emotionally self-indulgent (are we supposed to feel bad that she lost both houses in the divorce?), annoying (she's just tickled when she gains 23 pounds after eating her way through Italy) and often really immature (oh! The endless, endless crying).
Then again, this is a memoir and when the writing is just so clever, so hospitable, so damn funny, it's really hard to hold that against Gilbert in the end.
The plot goes something like this: A 30-year-old writer has everything she wants, including several successful books, a husband and two houses. When she realizes she doesn't want to have kids and that she's not happy after all, she has a breakdown and leaves her husband. In the process, she realizes she has no identity.
But instead, Gilbert decides to pack up and visit Italy, India and Indonesia, three places she hopes will ultimately bring her the inner balance she's been longing for. (And on the surface, this book is a really entertaining travel essay. Gilbert has this wonderfully quirky way of describing everything: A piece of pizza, a gelato. And the people.)
It's on her travels that I start to identify with Gilbert. When I was 21, I spent four months traveling in Australia. Just like Gilbert during her first weeks in Italy, I was totally elated by my freedom.
But about two weeks in, the loneliness came around and so did the anxiety.
My typical day started with this inner monologue: "I have to get to the museum before noon, so I can fit in the sea kayaking trip at 2. And then I have to rush to the grocery store to get food to make dinner in the stinking hostel kitchen because god forbid I go out to eat causeIHAVETOMAKETHEMONEYLASTFORTHREEMOREMONTHS!!!!"
Yikes. How I envied the Eurotrash who could just sit by the hostel pool and read all day. But if I didn't do everything, then I would have failed at traveling.
In retrospect, Australia was a turning-point in my young life. I had no idea that this "go-go-go" attitude was how I had been living for years. No wonder people thought I was uptight. Relaxing had never come easy to me, and it never will, but I'm getting a lot better at letting go and not worrying about seeing every last museum... so-to-speak.
Gilbert ruminates on this topic quite a bit in her book. Her first moment of true, unfettered happiness comes when she poaches some eggs and eats some asparagus on the floor of her apartment. So simple, but so fulfilling.
In India, she writes that "life, if you keep chasing it so hard, will drive you to death." Gilbert is living in an Ashram, a place where people come to meditate and experience divinity. She's not very good at it, and she wonders if all the energy she's spent chasing the next experience has kept her from enjoying anything. At this point in the book, I find myself wondering if Gilbert wants to be there at all. Perhaps going to an Ashram was the thing she thought she should do, not what she wanted to do. I sure as hell wouldn't.
What I really love about "Eat, Pray, Love" is that it's all about asking the simple question, "what do I want," a question that would have come in handy in Australia and numerous other times in my life. It's so hard for some people, including me, and it really shouldn't be. I think that when you can honestly answer that question ("No. I don't want to go to that discussion on post-modernism, even though I realize that I should be interested in it and it would make me a lot cooler in your eyes. Really, I just want to watch back-to-back episodes of "Scrubs") you're well on your way to realizing your own identity and being ok with whoever that person is.

Profile Image for Simone Ramone.
145 reviews34 followers
February 3, 2016
I found this book unbelievably phoney.

I hated this so much that I got up early this morning to finish it and gave my copy to the library and honestly, I'm not too proud of that.
To me it just felt so insincere that there's no chance I would have made it past the second chapter had it not been for book club obligations.

I enjoyed her writing style, but I absolutely could not warm to her at all. To be fair, I do think she would be an excellent travel writer.

The section on India was agony to read.
I have met enough people freshly returned from Indian ashrams to know that they often seem a tad self absorbed and I also suspect that they really only get up at 3am so that they have even more "me" time.
She didn't do much to alter my opinion.
Honestly, this woman meditated longer, harder and bluer than anyone else has, past or present. She won the meditation competition that no-one was actually having.

Possibly it was not enlightenment that she found, but simply that she finally became completely self absorbed.
Easy mistake to make.
Profile Image for [Name Redacted].
797 reviews400 followers
March 8, 2012
Shallow, self-indulgent and mired in the sort of liberal American obsession with "oriental" exoticism that is uniquely offensive because it is treated as enobling by its purveyors. She treats the rest of the world as though it exists for the consumption of jaded, rich, white Americans and this book is a monument to that sort of arrogance and ignorance.

Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,259 reviews5,627 followers
November 30, 2022
امراة تترك كل شيء و ترحل ؛لماذا تحقق تلك الكتب و الافلام التي تتناول سفر"إمرأة"ما للمجهول كل هذه الشهرة و الشعبية؟مثل"النوم مع العدو / تحت شمس توسكان

و بالطبع على رأسهم : السيرة الذاتية /كتاب الرحلات: طعام.صلاة..حب

تنجح كتب رحيل النساء ببساطة : لان الأشجار لا تتحرك .
نحن من نذهب اليها ..
و المرأة =شجرة فطرها الله على ثبات جذورها في الارض مهما حدث لتستمر الحياة..قد تسافر وحدها قليلا جدا : أسابيع للعمل او للسياحة لكنها تعود سريعا جدا ..في الشرق و الغرب �� الشمال و الجنوب ..ستصل المرأة دائما لوضع الشجرة مهما تأخرت..فهل رايت شجرة تنخلع و تجري الا في فيلم سيد الخواتم؟؟

و كل إمرأة في وقت ما تسأم الثبات و وضع الشجرة و تتمني و تحلم ان تفعل مثل اليزابيث / فرانسيس / سارة
تبدا من جديد في اي مكان بعيد..لا لن تكون طموحة جدا و تبحث عن كل شيء مثل اليزابيث ..بل فقط .. تهرب من خيبات امل و قهر و خذلان و علاقات ميتة و احلام مجهضة

باحت اليزابيث بالمسكوت عنه..و فعلت ما حلمت به كل نساء الارض مهما انكرن : ينطلقن بحثاً عن السلام النفسي و الحرية

عندما تقرا على لسان امراة ثلاثينية انها "لا تريد ان تكون متزوجة بعد اليوم!! و الادهي انها ترفض تماما ان تكون اما ..لانها تعلم ان الابناء ببساطة : " لكمات في الوجه " و هم جذور الشجرة ..اذن نحن هنا امام استثناء حقيقي لانها سيرة ذاتية
حتى لو لم اتفق معها مطلقا في فرديتها و انانيتها لكني لن احكم على مسيرتها الشخصية و اختياراتها . . بل فقط على كتابها

الصدق ثم الصدق و اخيرا قليل من التصنع هو ما يميز هذا الكتاب الثري المقسم ل3اجزاء

1. جزء :كله يدلع نفسه

انا افضل جزء ايطاليا بالطبع مثل الاغلبية " ....ايطاليا هي مهرب محطمي القلوب في العالم كله ..و عندما زرتها فهمت
جوها هو الافضل على الاطلاق ..اهلها "بايعين كل القضايا " بشكل لن تتخيله ما لم تراهم .. يمارسون اعمالهم بانشراح غريب ..يتعاملون مع ابشع الموضوعات بتبسط مريب..لذا هم افضل المتعاملين مع السياح و الهاربين و الناقميين

جزء : فوق بقى
بالنسبة لي جاء جزء الهند في مجمله مملا جدا ..فالتامل يمارس و لا يتم الكتابة عنه. .و قد نصلي شهورا و اعوام لنصل اخيرا للصلاة التي نرضى عنها ..فنحن من نحتاج للتواصل مع الله تعالى و هذا قد يحدث في غرفتك الخاصة ؛على البحر؛ في المسجد ..اي مكان و ليس من الضروري ابدا ان يكون في الهند

جزء 3 : انت معلم

الطبيب الحكيم الكيوت" كتوت" يفعل المستحيل ليسقي اليزابيث حكمة اهل الشرق و يشرح لها ان هناك اربعة أسرار للسعادة و الامان هي
الذكاء..الصداقة ..القوة ..و الشعر! !ا
to be safe and happy in life: intelligence, friendship, strength, and poetry
و لاني لا احب الشعر لن احصل على السعادة اذن 😢لا هنا و لا في بالي

اليزابيث شاركت اهل البلاد الثلاثة التي زارتها افراحهم و اتراحهم..طعامهم و بعض اوجاعهم..كل ذلك و هي تبحث عن ايمانها ..عن سلامها المنشود ..عن القليل من كل شيء ..
لذا جاء كتابها في ثلثه الأول؛ ككتاب الاحلام بالنسبة لكل المقيدات
كتاب الرحلات النموذجي الذي نحلم به جميعا

ولكن من الممكن ان نفعل ذلك جميعا في سفراتنا الداخلية و الخارجية : نتعامل ببساطة ؛ بابتسامة ؛ نسافر وحدنا احيانا لنترك فرصة للتقارب الانساني ..ليس من الضروري ان نمكث شهورا و أعوام ..و لا ان ننفق 200الف دولار و لا نحرق مراكبنا قبل السفر

احيانا اليوم الواحد يقربك ممن لا تعرفه أكثر من بعض اهلك
المهم ان تفتح قلبك
12 reviews6 followers
September 23, 2007
What I'm about to say must be wrong, because I couldn't get through this book. I tried. And I failed. So: I have NO BUSINESS WRITING THIS. Don't read it.

A cousin recommended EPL and I thought it would teach me something about the book market. My secret boyfriend at the public library was horrified I checked it out, given his ACLU-offensive intimacy with my record and tastes; and yes, like others, I was embarrassed to have EPL in my possession.


What IS this MOVEMENT of lily-white bourgeois women with fancy educations working themselves into identity crises that they think can be solved by a new form of coloniasm? This hyper-feminized adventure travel?

Subaltern poaching for the 21st century. Taker mentality as spiritual quest.

These people need their own version of Outside magazine or some shit. Oh yeah, they already do. It's called the GAIAM catalog.

Yeah. We're talking some serious dilettante tourism: taking entire countries as theme spas. Italy for excess, India for asceticism, Indonesia for the middle path.

Ladies: Country I is not your personal terrain for self-discovery. You don't get to interiorize Country I as a metaphor for your personal potential. If your interior journey needs a bunch of leisure time and poor countries to be realized, maybe you're asking the wrong questions.

The consumerist mentality was so self-important and so priveleged that I just couldn't make myself give this book any more time.
Profile Image for Rinda Elwakil .
501 reviews4,559 followers
December 25, 2018


14-septemper 2014

و لم تأتني القدرة حتي يومنا هذا لأكتب عن هذا العمل شيئًا .


حصلت عليها كهدية لعيد ميلادي الواحد و العشرين..

طالعت الجملة المسطورة علي الغلاف: "إليزابيث جيلبرت، امرأة تبحث عن كل شئ" .
و تخيلت وجهها الباسم و هي تخاطبني، هل تعرفين ريندا كيف يكون الحال عندما تكونين مثلي؟
أعني امرأة تبحث عن كل شئ؟

نعم..نعم أعرف !


" لا أريد أن أصير متزوجة بعد اليوم " .

اعرف تماما ما جال بذهنها حين نطقت بها عاليًا للمرة الأولي..أكاد أن أري النظرة التي بدت علي وجهها، تنظر للأرض قليلا لا بعينه، قليل من الغضب، قليل من التصميم، و الكثير الكثير من الخوف..و الألم.

أكاد أراه هو، نظرة الغضب و عدم التصديق..ربما قال "ماذا قلتي لتوك؟" بلهجة غاضبة قليلا..ربما نظر لها هازئا لعلمه أنها أضعف من أن تقوم بحمل نفسها علي تنفيذ قرار كذلك.

أكاد أري محاولاته اليائسة حينما أدرك أنها لا تمزح..الصراخ و اللين..الشجار و التحدي، الدموع و الرجاء لتبقي..

أكاد أري كل ذلك و أكثر.

امرأة تبحث عن كل شئ، امرأة لا تريد أن تًنجِب.

لكن كان يفترض بي أن أقوم بإنجاب طفل. عوضاً عن ذلك و مع اقتراب سنواتي العشرين من نهايتها راحت سنّ الثلاثين تضيق علي خناقي و كأنها حبل مشنقة..و اكتشفت أني لم أكن أريد الإنجاب. انتظرت طويلا كي أشعر بالرغبة بالإنجاب، لكنّ ذلك لم يحدث. أنا أعرف كيف يشعر المرء حين يرغب بشئ ما..صدقني أعرف تماماً ما هي الرغبة لكنها لم تكن موجودة..
كنت أحاول أن أقنع نفسي بأنّ ما أشعر به طبيعي مع أن كل الأدلة تشير إلي العكس، كإحدي معارفي التي التقيت بها الأسبوع الماضي و التي اكتشفت للتو أنها حامل للمرة الأولي..كانت منتشية، أخبرتني أنها تريد أن تكون أماً إلي الأبد..
رأيت الفرحة في عينيها و عرفتها. كانت تلك الفرحة التي شعّت من عينيّ الربيع الماضي حين عرفت أن المجلة التي أعمل فيها قررت إرسالي إلي مهمة في نيوزيلاندا للبحث عن الصبيدج العملاق.
و فكرت حينها: "إلي أن أشعر حيال الطفل بالنشوة نفسها التي ملأت كياني حيال الذهاب لنيوزيلاندا للبحث عن صبيدج عملاق، لا يمكنني الإنجاب".
لا أريد أن أكون متزوجة بعد الآن.


احذر يا صديقي القارئ، قد تكون المرأة المُحطمة مملة إلي حد كبير..ستجدها متقبلة المزاج كثيرة البكاء و الشرود..قد تعيد قص الحكاية بحذافيرها العديد و العديد من المرات..هي لا تريد ردًا، لا تطلب منك شفاء
فقط ابق و استمع ما استطعت..ستكون لك شاكرة و كذلك سأكون أنا.

الوضع الحالي: لدينا امرأة محطمة، حالمة للغاية و ذلك سيزيد الطين بلة لو تعلمون.

و لو لا تعلم..لا تتعجل، سنري معا!

المكان: إيطاليا، الهند، إندونيسيا.

الهدف:لا أعلم، هي أيضا لا تعلم
و لكن لا بأس، أن تهيم علي وجهك لعلك تتعثر ببداية الطريق هو أمر جيد، لا تبق ثابتًا..تحرك !

“أما أنا فأختقي في الشخص الذي أحبه...
أنا غشاء نفيذ...إن أحببتك...تحصل على كل شئ.
تحصل على وقتي وإخلاصي و ومالي وعائلتي....
إن أحببتك أحمل عنك كل عذابك...
أعطيك الحماية من مخاوفك...
أعطيك الشمس والقمر وإن لم يكونا متوفرين”


المميز عن هذا الكتاب و عن الكاتبة هو صدقهما التام، الكاتبة صادقة بسيطة جريئة
من قال أن الأشخاص الخطرين هم ذوي الصفات المذمومة؟
عن نفسي لا أخشاهم..لا أخشي أحدًا بقدر الصادقين ببساطة مثلها
مثلها يُربكني
مثلها يأخذ يدي برفق و يوقفني أمام مرآة تفوقني حجما و طولا..تجلس و تبتسم برفق و تخبرني أن أمعن النظر، و ألا اخجل مما أراه.

"لا بأس ألا تكوني جيدة، لا بأس ألا تكوني بخير، لا بأس" :)


“يعتقد المرء بأن توأم الروح هو الشخص الأنسب له،وهذا ما يريده الجميع.
ولكن توأم الروح الحقيقي ليس سوى مرآة،إنه الشخص الذي يريك كل ما يعيقك،
الشخص الذي يلفت انتباهك إلى نفسك لكي تغيري حياتك،
توأم الروح الحقيقي هو أهم شخص تلتقين به على الأرجح،
لأنه يمزق جدرانك ويهزك بقوة لكي تستفيقي،ولكن ان تعيشي مع توأم روحك إلى الأبد؟
هذا مؤلم جدا.
فتوائم الروح يدخلون حياتك فقط ليكشفوا لك طبقة اخرى من ذاتك،ثم يرحلون.
وشكرا لله على ذلك.
غير أن مشكلتك انك لا تسمحين لتوأم روحك بالرحيل."

-سطرت تلك الفقرة في دفتري منذ عام مضي و كتبت: ماذا لو لم يرحل إليزابيث؟
ماذا لو لم يسمح لي؟ ماذا لو لم أرد منه أنا أن يرحل؟

و كتبت أمس: تركته يرحل إليزابيث..رحلت أنا..تعلمت الحركة! :)

يا من وصلت حتي هنا:

لا أعلم إن كانت ستصيب روحك كما أصابتني..اقرأها و اعطها فرصة-

-كن صادقا، كن صادقا، كن صادقا .

- لا تقاوم حزنك، دعه يتخللك..لا بأس
ثق بي..دعه يتخللك، ثم أطلق سراحه ! :)

-“عند نقطة معينة عليك أن تستسلم وتجلس ساكنا وتترك الرضى يأتي إليك”
كن صادقًا، تقبل و انتظر

-“ ان عجزت ان تكوني سيدة تفكيرك فأنت في ورطة كبيرة لن تخرجي منها أبدا ”

-تمني لي أنا لو أمكن أن أكف عن البحث عن كل شئ، أو أن أجد كل شئ :)

هذا و علي روحك السلام..كل السلام..شكرًا لك أن وصلت إلي هُنا.

ريندا الوكيل

Profile Image for Tonya.
49 reviews6 followers
August 20, 2007
Ok, I admit I still have about 30 pages to go, which I will get around to reading soon (need a break from the book though) and which I highly doubt will prompt me to change my 2-star rating. I know many people love this book for what I consider personal reasons, therefore I tread lightly so as to not come off as critical of people's personal opinions, rather, just the book itself.

First, I found the author not-so-likable. I've read other readers' reviews in which she was described as 'so funny' and like 'a girl we'd all love to know' and have to tell you, I didn't feel the love. She came off to me as lofty, self-absorbed, and needy. I felt like she wanted to make herself a victim of her divorce and her depression. She was so vague about some aspects of the decline of her relationship with her ex-husband as well as with some details about the divorce, which led me to believe that she really did a number on him, but then she whined throughout the book about how HE was the one making the divorce so difficult. I don't mean to sound judgmental of how she coped with it, because I can't relate to that and it would be unfair of me, but I just couldn't help but feel that she kind of bashed the ex a little when she was seemingly the majority of the reason for their split. Plus, she acted like she is the only person in the world to suffer through a divorce, yet she was "totally in love" with another man less than a month after she realized she wanted out of her marriage (and her account isn't clear as to how long after her realization she actually got the divorce-ball rolling so I can't help but assume she was unfaithul.) So it was hard to have sympathy for her when she got hysterical over the ex disagreeing about settlement details. Um, I would think that happens when you blindside your spouse with a divorce request. Not saying it's right, just saying that's life.

Secondly, in her search of spirituality, I couldn't help but find some of it a little far-fetched. And could she have drawn out her stay at the Ashram in India any longer or with more mind-numbing, snooooze-inducing detail?? I found myself skipping entire paragraphs at a time, and not just because I was in a bit of a hurry to read the book before book club... but because she bored the hell out of me. My favorite part of India, ironically, was Richard From Texas. So I suppose that just sums up for us what I got out of the India section.

But I won't leave us all on a totally negative note. I enjoyed parts of the book, some of them thoroughly. I loved her friends, for instance, and am perplexed at how I find the author so unlikable but somehow she has such cool people in her life? And she was SOMETIMES funny with little sarcastic bits that caught me off guard and made me laugh aloud. When she wasn't being overly wordy, I loved reading her descriptions of Italy, India, and most especially Indonesia. And, of course, who didn't drool over her description of that pizza in Naples? YUM. I read that part twice :-)~
134 reviews
June 30, 2008
Ok. I really didn't READ it all. I couldn't. I just couldn't get past how self centered and whiny this woman was. I just wanted to scream GET OVER YOURSELF! Then I quit reading it and now I feel much better.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews33 followers
October 14, 2021
Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia is a 2006 memoir by American author Elizabeth Gilbert. The memoir chronicles the author's trip around the world after her divorce and what she discovered during her travels.

At 32 years old, Elizabeth Gilbert was educated, had a home, a husband, and a successful career as a writer. She was, however, unhappy in her marriage and initiated a divorce.

She then embarked on a rebound relationship that did not work out, leaving her devastated and alone. After finalizing her difficult divorce, she spent the next year traveling the world.

She spent four months in Italy, eating and enjoying life ("Eat").

She spent three months in India, finding her spirituality ("Pray").

She ended the year in Bali, Indonesia, looking for "balance" of the two and fell in love with a Brazilian businessman ("Love").

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «غذا بخورید، دعا کنید، دوست بدارید»؛ «خوردن، نیایش، مهرورزی»؛ «عشق، نیایش، زندگی از نگاه یک زن»؛ «غذا، خدا، عشق»؛ «غذا، دعا، عشق: داستان زنی در جستجوی همه چیز در ایتالیا، هند و اندونزی»؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز سوم ماه سپتامبر سال 2011میلادی

عنوان: غذا بخورید، دعا کنید، دوست بدارید؛ نویسنده: الیزابت گیلبرت؛ مترجم: زهره فتوحی؛ مشخصات نشر کرج، در دانش بهمن، 1387، در 486ص، شابک 9789641740490؛ موضوع مسافرت الیزابت گیلبرت 1969م، سفرنامه نویسان ایالات متحده، سرگذشتنامه - سده 21م

عنوان: خوردن، نیایش، مهرورزی؛ نویسنده: الیزابت گیلبرت؛ مترجم: اصغر اندرودی؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، نشر دایره، 1388، در 496ص، شابک9789646839892؛

عنوان: عشق، نیایش، زندگی از نگاه یک زن؛ نویسنده: الیزابت گیلبرت؛ مترجم: عاطفه پاکروان؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، کوشش، 1391، در300ص، شابک9789646325197

عنوان: غذا، خدا، عشق؛ نویسنده: الیزابت گیلبرت؛ مترجم: معصومه ذوالفقاری؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، آستان دوست، 1389، در396ص، شابک9786009197538؛

عنوان: غذا، دعا، عشق: داستان زنی در جستجوی همه چیز در ایتالیا، هند و اندونزی؛ نویسنده: الیزابت گیلبرت؛ مترجم: ندا شادنظر؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، افراز، 1389، در300ص، شابک 9786005218510؛

عنوان: غذا بخورید، دعا کنید، دوست بدارید: یک زن در جستجوی همه چیز؛ نویسنده: الیزابت گیلبرت؛ مترجم: زهرا مردانی؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، ناژ، 1389، در317ص، شابک9786009109791؛

نقل از کتاب بخور، عبادت کن، عشق بورز: (مقدمه: نحوه صورت بندی این کتاب: مهره صدونه تسبیح؛ وقتی در هندوستان سفر میکنید افراد زیادی را -بخصوص در اماکن مقدّس و عبادتگاهها- میبینید، که دور گردن خود تسبیح انداخته اند؛ همینطور عکسهای قدیمی از مرتاضان لاغر و استخوانی و برهنه -یا حتّی چاق و مهربان- م��بینید، که آنها نیز تسبیح به گردن دارند؛ در هند این دانه های تسبیح را «ژاپا مالا» میگویند؛ قرنهاست که هندوها و بوداییها در هند برای افزایش تمرکز خود هنگام مراقبه از آنها استفاده میکنند؛ به این نحو که تسبیح را در یک دست میگیرند و با تکرار هر «مانترا» مهره ای میاندازند؛ وقتی جنگجویان قرون وسطایی به شرق هجوم آوردند، با دیدن نیایش مرتاضان به وسیله «ژاپا مالا»، از آن روش استقبال کردند، و این ایده را با خود به اروپا بردند؛ «ژاپا مالای» سنّتی، یکصد و هشت دانه داشت؛ عدد یکصد و هشت در میان فلاسفه شرق، خوش یمن ترین و بهترین ترکیب سه عددی است که مجموع آن از ضرب عدد سه در سه به وجود میآید؛ و البته هر کس «ترینیتی مقدس» را خوانده باشد، میداند که عدد سه، عددی نمایانگر والاترین تعادل است؛ از آنجا که کل این کتاب، در مورد تلاش من در رسیدن به تعادل نگاشته شده است، تصمیم گرفتم آن را مانند «ژاپا مالا» صورت بندی کرده، و داستانهایم را به یکصد و هشت روایت تقسیم کنم؛ این یکصد و هشت روایت نیز، خود در سه بخش مربوط به «ایتالیا»، «هند»، و «اندونزی»، یعنی سه کشوری که در جستجوی خود به آنها سفر کرده ام، تقسیم شده است؛ بنابراین سی و شش روایت در هر بخش وجود دارد، که این عدد نیز برای من ناآشنا نیست، چرا که همه این کتاب را اکنون در سن سی و شش سالگی، به رشته تحریر درمیآورم؛ بنابراین کتابم را با توجه به ساختار منظم «ژاپا مالا»، به این صورت بخش بندی کرده ام؛ مکاشفه معنوی خالصانه، همیشه تلاشی در جهت نظم روشمند بوده و هست؛ جستجوی حقیقت چیزی نیست که همگان در مسیر آن قرار گیرند؛ در مقام جستجوگر و نویسنده، استفاده هرچه بیشتر، از دانه های تسبیح را، برای تمرکز بر کاری که انجام میدهم سودمند دیدم؛ با اینحال هر «ژاپا مالا» یک مهره مخصوص اضافی -مهره یکصد و نهم- دارد، که خارج از دایره یکصد و هشت مهره ی دیگر قرار دارد؛ ابتدا فکر میکردم مهره یکصد و نهم نقش یدکی، مانند دکمه ی اضافی روی پالتو یا جوانترین پسر در خانواده ی سلطنتی دارد؛ امّا ظاهراً هدف والاتری وجود دارد؛ وقتی انگشتتان حین دعا به این مهره میرسد، باید مراقبه خود را متوقّف کرده و از استادان خود تشکر کنید؛ بنابراین، اینجا در مهره یکصد و نهم، حتّی پیش از شروع توقف میکنم؛ از همه استادانم که در این یکسال راهنمای من بوده اند، سپاسگزارم؛

اما میخواهم تشکّر ویژه ای از استاد اعظم خوش قلبم کنم، که سخاوتمندانه پذیرفت، همه مدّت اقامتم در هند را، در عبادتگاه سپری کنم؛ لازم میدانم این را نیز بگویم، که هر آنچه در مورد تجربیاتم در هند نوشته ام، دیدگاه شخصی من به عنوان یک نویسنده، و نه به عنوان پژوهشگر خداشناسی، یا مقامی رسمی است؛ به همین خاطر هم نام استاد اعظمم را، در هیچ کجای کتاب نیاورده ام، چون به نمایندگی از او صحبت نمیکنم؛ آموزه های آنها بهترین نماینده آنها هستند؛ من حرفی از نام، یا مکان عبادتگاه نیز نخواهم آورد، چرا که قصد تبلیغ ندارم، و آنها نیز نیازی به این مسئاله ندارند؛ همینطور نام تک تک اشخاصی را که در عبادتگاه ملاقات کرده ام، چه هندی و چه غربی، بنا به دلایل مختلف، تغییر داده ام؛ اگر اینکار را نمیکردم، بی احترامی بود و دیگران از ترس اینکه مبادا بعداً نامشان در کتابی چاپ شود، دیگر به عبادتگاهها پا نمیگذاشتند؛ تنها یک نفر از این قاعده بی نام و نشانی مستثناست؛ «ریچارد» واقعاً نامش «ریچارد» و اهل «تگزاس» است؛ تنها به این خاطر نام حقیقی او را تغییر نداده ام، که حضورش در هند، اهمیت بخصوصی برای من داشته است؛ کلام آخر اینکه، وقتی از «ریچارد» پرسیدم، که از نظر او اشکالی ندارد، در کتابم قید کنم که در گذشته معتاد و الکلی بوده، او گفت به هیچ وجه مشکلی وجود ندارد؛ او گفت «به هر حال من داشتم سعی میکردم سر در بیارم که چطور میشه اون موضوع رو بیان کرد.»؛ حالا میرویم به –ایتالیا...؛ کتاب اول: ایتالیا: «کلمه ها را طوری ادا کن که گویی آنها را میخوری»؛ سی و شش روایت درباره لذت جویی: 1: کاش جیوانی مرا میبوسید؛ دلایل بسیاری من را از ادامه این فکر بازداشت؛ اول اینکه جیوانی ده سال از من کوچکتر است، و مثل بیشتر پسرهای بیست و چند ساله ایتالیایی هنوز با مادرش زندگی میکند؛ همین مسئاله به تنهایی کافی است که او همسر مناسبی برای من به حساب نیاید؛ به علاوه من زن آمریکایی سی و پنج ساله با تجربه ای هستم، که به تازگی ازدواج ناموفقی را پشت سر گذاشته است، و بلافاصله پس از این جدایی طاقت فرسا و ویرانگر، رابطه عاشقانه آتشین ناموفقی را تجربه کرده است؛ این شکستهای پی در پی، من را شکننده و افسرده، و گویی هفت هزار سال پیر کرده است؛ نمیخواهم خودم را به «جیوانی» پاک و دوست داشتنی تحمیل کنم؛ ناگفته نماند، دیگر به سنّی رسیده ام که بتوانم بر عشق خود به مرد جوان و زیبایی با چشمهای قهوه ای غلبه کنم؛ به همین دلایل است که پس از گذشت ماهها، هنوز تنها هستم؛ علّت اینکه تصمیم گرفتم امسال مجرّد بمانم هم همین است؛

شاید بپرسید: «پس چرا به ایتالیا آمدی؟»؛ پاسخ من بخصوص وقتی پشت میز روبروی جیوانی زیبا نشسته ام این است: «سئوال خوبی بود.»؛ من و جیوانی از هم زبان یاد میگیریم؛ هفته ای چند بار اینجا در رم همدیگر را ملاقات، و با هم زبان تمرین میکنیم؛ اول ایتالیایی و بعد انگلیسی صحبت میکنیم، و هر دو برای یادگیری یکدیگر صبر و حوصله ��ه خرج میدهیم؛ من آشناییم با جیوانی را مدیون کافی نت بزرگ پیتزا باربرنیی هستم، که آن طرف فوّاره ی مجسمه پری دریایی قرار دارد؛ چند هفته بیشتر از آمدنم به رم نگذشته بود، که آگهی کوچکی روی تابلو اعلانات کافی نت با این مضمون دیدم: «به یک انگلیسی زبان برای تمرین مکالمه با یک ایتالیایی زبان نیازمندیم.»؛ درست کنار این آگهی، آگهی مشابه دیگری که تنها وجه اختلافشان ایمیل آن دو بود مشاهده میشد؛ آدرس ایمیل یکی به نام جیوانی، و دیگری به نام داریو، ثبت شده بود؛ حتی شماره تلفن منزل هم یکی بود؛ هوش سرشارم را به کار انداختم و به هر دو نفر همزمان این ایمیل را فرستادم: «شاید شما دوتا برادرید؟»؛ جواب جیوانی، تلاطم عجیبی در من ایجاد کرد: «از آن هم بهتر. دو قلوییم.»؛ البته که دو جوان بیست و پنجساله قدبلند خوش سیما با آن چشمهای خمار قهوه ای درشت ایتالیایی، خیلی بهتر از یکی است؛ پس از ملاقات پسرها به این فکر افتادم، که شاید باید در مورد تصمیم مبنی بر تنها ماندن در این سفر تجدید نظر کنم؛ مثلاً، تجّرد کامل اختیار کنم، به استثنای همین دوقلوی خوش تیپ؛ به یاد یکی از دوستانم افتادم که گیاهخوار است، و به جز گوشت خوک، لب به هیچ گوشت دیگری نمیزند؛ غرق در رویای سوسوی سایه های شمع روی صورتهایمان در کافه ای در رم و نوازش دستان ـــــــــــ ؛ ناگهان به خودم آمدم؛ نه، نه، نه؛ چنین رابطه عاشقانه ای فقط زندگی دشوارم را پیچیده تر میکرد؛ الان زمان این بود که در پی آرامش و التیام باشم؛ آرامشی که جز در تنهایی و خلوت برایم میسّر نمیشد؛ اکنون، در اواسط نوامبر من و جیوانی خجالتی سختکوش دوستان صمیمی شده ایم؛ داریو، برادر پرشر و شورتر را هم به دوستِ دوست داشتنی سوئدی ام «سوفی» معرفی کردم؛ بگذریم که آنها چگونه با هم زبان تمرین میکنند؛ ولی من و جیوانی فقط صحبت میکنیم؛ در واقع غذا میخوریم و صحبت میکنیم؛ اکنون هفته ها از غذا خوردن و صحبت کردن ما میگذرد؛ از شریکی پیتزا خوردن و تصحیح صبورانه غلطهای گرامری یکدیگر. امشب هم استثنا نبود؛ غروبی دل انگیز با اصلاحات جدید و پنیر مازارلای تازه؛ اکنون نیمه شبی مه آلود است و من و جیوانی از مسیر پر پیچ و خم میان ساختمانهای قدیمی رم، که به رودی در حال عبور از میان درختهای سرو انبوه میماند، به سمت آپارتمان من میرویم؛ رسیدیم؛ رو در روی هم ایستاده ایم، و او به نشانه ی خداحافظی من را به گرمی در آغوش گرفت؛ این خود یک پیشرفت به حساب میآمد؛ طی چند هفته گذشته تنها با من دست میداد؛ فکر کنم اگر سه سال دیگر در ایتالیا میماندم، آرام آرام رویش باز میشد؛ از سوی دیگر، هنوز هم شانسی وجود دارد

شاید همین الان، زیر نور ماه،...؛ نه؛ گفت: «خدا نگهدار لیزای عزیز» و رفت؛ من هم گفتم «شب خوش عزیزم»، و تنها، به آپارتمانم که در طبقه چهارم قرار داشت رفتم؛ تک و تنها به اتاق مطالعه کوچکم رفتم و در را پشت سرم بستم؛ شب طولانی دیگری بدون هیچ یار و یاوری به جز تعدادی دیکشنری و کتاب ایتالیایی که پیش رو داشتم؛ تنها هستم، تنهای تنها، کاملاً تنها؛ با درک این واقعیت، زانو زده، پیشانی ام را روی زمین فشرده و سجده پرشور و شعف خود را نثار کائنات کردم؛ ابتدا به انگلیسی، سپس به ایتالیایی، و بعد هم به سانسکریت؛ فقط برای اطمینان از اینکه حقّ مطلب را ادا کرده ام

دو: در حال سجده ناگهان به یاد سه سال پیش، یعنی زمانی که کل این داستان شروع شد افتادم – لحظه ای که درست در همین وضعیت کف زمین زانو زده نیایش میکردم؛ البته درمورد سه سال پیش همه چیز فرق میکرد؛ آن زمان در رم نبودم بلکه در حمام طبقه دوم خانه بزرگی در حومه نیویورک بودم که به تازگی با همسرم خریده بودیم؛ ساعت سه صبح یکروز سرد ماه نوامبر بود؛ همسرم خوابیده بود و من برای چهل و هفتمین شب متوالی در حمام پنهان شده بودم و میگریستم. آنقدر سخت که جویی از اشک و آب بینی روی کاشیهای حمام جاری شده بود، جویی از شرمساری، ترس، پریشانی، و اندوه. دیگه نمیخوام به زندگی زناشویی ادامه بدم. سخت تلاش میکردم که باور نکنم ولی حقیقت داشت؛ دیگه نمیخوام به زندگی زناشویی ادامه بدم؛ نمیخوام تو این خونه بزرگ زندگی کنم. نمیخوام بچه دار شم؛ امّا قرار بود بچه بخواهم؛ سی و یک ساله بودم؛ من و همسرم پس از هشت سال نامزدی، و شش سال زندگی مشترک، کلّ زندگیمان را بر این فرض بنا نهاده بودیم که من پس از سی سالگی، خانه نشین و بچّه دار شوم

پیش بینی کرده بودیم که از سفر خسته خواهم شد و از زندگی در خانه ای بزرگ و شلوغ و پر از بچّه با باغچه ای در حیاط و قابلمه سوپ جوشان روی اجاق راضی و خوشحال خواهم بود؛ درک این واقعیت که هیچ یک از اینها را نمیخواستم وحشتناک بود؛ در عوض، سی سالگی برایم به طناب داری میماند که هرچه به آن نزدیکتر میشدم گردنم را بیشتر میفشرد، و من دریافتم که نمیخواهم باردار شوم؛ خیلی منتظر ماندم که شاید علاقه به بچّه دار شدن در من بوجود آید، ولی این اتفاق نیفتاد. باور کنید من میدانم وقتی انسان چیزی را از ته دل بخواهد باید چه حسّی داشته باشد؛ من چنین حسّی نداشتم؛ حرفهای خواهرم در حالیکه کودک اوّلش را شیر میداد هر لحظه در گوشم طنین میانداخت: «بچّه دار شدن مثل خالکوبی کردن رو صورته؛ قبل از انجامش باید مطمئن شی این همون چیزیه که میخوایش.»؛

اما اکنون دیگر چطور میتوانستم عقب نشینی کنم؟ همه چیز سر جایش بود؛ قرار بود امسال بچهّ دار شوم؛ در حقیقت چند ماهی بود که برای این هدف اقدام کرده بودیم؛ ولی هیچ اتّفاقی نیفتاده بود -صرف نظر از اینکه فشار عصبی و روانی باعث شده بود که هر روز صبحانه ام را بالا بیاورم-؛ هر ماه پس از عادت ماهیانه ام در حمّام به آرامی زمزمه میکردم: متشکّرم، متشکّرم، متشکّرم که یه ماه دیگه به من فرصت زندگی دادی...؛

سعی میکردم خودم را متقاعد کنم که این وضع طبیعی است؛ با خودم فکر میکردم همه ی زنها وقتی میخواهند باردار شوند همین حس را دارند؛ گرچه همه چیز خلاف این را نشان میداد؛ مثلاً اتفاقی یکی از دوستانم را دیدم که پس از دو سال انتظار و با کمک روشهای مختلف بارداری، سرانجام فهمیده بود که برای اولین بار باردار شده است؛ هیجان زده بود و میگفت که همیشه میخواسته مادر باشد؛ اعتراف میکرد که سالها پنهانی لباس کودک میخریده و زیر تخت مخفی میکرده تا همسرش متوجه نشود. شادی وصف ناپذیری در چهره اش مشهود بود؛ همین شادی را بهار سال گذشته تجربه کرده بودم. زمانی که فهمیدم مجله ای که در آن کار میکردم میخواهد برای نوشتن مقاله ای درباره ماهی مرکب غول پیکر من را به نیوزیلند بفرستد؛ با خودم فکر کردم «تا وقتیکه خوشحالیم از داشتن بچّه به اندازه رفتنم به نیوزیلند نشود، نمیتوانم بچه دار شوم.»؛ دیگه نمیخوام به زندگی زناشویی ادامه بدم؛ روزها سعی میکردم فکر نکنم ولی شبها این فکر مرا از پای درمیآورد. چه فاجعه ای؛ چطور میتوانم چنین موجودی باشم و این زندگی را خراب کنم؟ یک سال بیشتر نبود که این خانه را خریده بودیم؛ دیگر این خانه زیبا را نمیخواستم؟ دیگر دوستش نداشتم؟ پس چرا اکنون هر شب در جای جایش به سر درگمی میگریستم؟ آیا دیگر به نتیجه زحمتهایمان افتخار نمیکردم؟ به آن خانه باشکوه در هادسن ولی، آپارتمانمان در منهتن، به هشت خط تلفن، دوستان و گردشها و مهمانیها، به آخر هفته ها و خرید از مجتمعهای تجاری بزرگ.)؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 17/09/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 21/07/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Denise.
97 reviews75 followers
July 16, 2010
I just kept thinking wahhhhhh the whole time. Poor woman wants out of her marriage so she leaves.... wahhhh. Poor woman is depressed so she whines wahhhhh. Life is so unfair for the poor woman wahhhh.

Please, poor woman is completely lost so what does she do? Why she takes a year off and travels to Italy, India & Indonesia to try and find herself. I wish I could say that this was fiction but it isn't. She's lost! Join the club but at least you have the money and the lack of responsibility to travel for an entire year and not have to worry about family, money and I don't know life in general.

She finds herself by traveling to three parts of the world - Italy to find her body, India to find her spirit and Indonesia to find a balance between the two. OK, that part I get but I just had a real difficult time finding sympathy for a woman who is able to do all of that and still find time to whine about how hard life is for her.

And guess what there's going to be a sequel - she remarrying so you know soon she will be divorcing and traveling to New Zealand, Prague and the South Pole to enlighten herself even more.

Added to add - great now it's a movie. Soon they will make The Secret into a movie and we can all call it a day.
Profile Image for Kenny.
507 reviews937 followers
May 31, 2023
I don't think I've ever disliked an author more than Elizabeth Gilbert. Gilbert has the emotional maturity of an insecure teenage girl. In Eat Pray Love, she comes off as completely self centered. We all have been stressed at particular moments in our lives. But no one more so than Elizabeth Gilbert. She got to leave reality for a while. After she ate, and prayed, she met some amazing guy who she "fell" in love with, then, she got a book deal. But wait, it gets even better ~~ she got to meet Oprah! Her life was complete. But wait, it wasn't. Gilbert is "suddenly" gay and publicly comes out, proclaiming her love for her best friend who just happens to be dying from pancreatic cancer. This has all the makings of another best seller -- we can hear about Jose/Felipe being a bad guy and the emotional abuse he heaped on her and how she came to be an angel to Rayya Elias and stood by her side valiantly until the end, and the now unbreakable bond they have in life and death. No thanks Elizabeth. We've all grown tired of your need for attention. Do the publishing world a favor. See a good psychiatrist, grow up and stop playing the victim.
Profile Image for Zinta.
Author 4 books237 followers
January 5, 2009
I waited, and waited, in ever such impatient patience, until the duct-taped box from my daughter arrived. It was one box among many, but this particular box, she had promised, would have within it her very best and most loved books, and among those -- Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love" that I had been longing to read. All of these boxes were arriving at my door because my daughter was taking wing on a journey like none before, and she is, for her 26 years, well traveled even when measured against adults thrice her age. It was a journey to complete her Master's degree, yes, but more than that. It was a journey to fulfill a young woman's (inherited from her mother) wanderlust, as well as a study abroad, as well as a spiritual journey, as well a journey of healing after a painful breakup of a relationship back home.

Indeed, how like Gilbert's story! Almost as if the two women, never having met, have moved on parallel lines. Perhaps that is why Gilbert's story so appeals. If we haven't traveled it ourselves in our physical bodies, surely we have traveled it in our hearts and minds. Away from pain, towards enlightenment. Away from disappointments and varied betrayals, toward renewed, or even new, wholeness. Away from what was and full flung into what is and what will be.

While our individual journeys in life may vary in detail, and no doubt rather unimportant detail, Gilbert touches so very many of her readers because in her honest, open, sincere, and often deliciously hilarious and hilariously delicious account, she speaks for many, many, many of us. Even if some of us stay in place to find our healing and learn our life lessons, minds and hearts travel freely. We can find our spiritual awakenings in an Indian Ashram, as she does, or we can find it standing in our own shower on a Monday morning, facing another work week in our accustomed routines.

Gilbert's journey takes her first to Italy, where she heals her body, mostly through the pleasures of food; then to India, where for months she meditates and prays; finally to Bali, Indonesia, where she completes her healing and finds new love when she was sure she never again would. She takes us, her readers, along with a story that pulls us along jumping and skipping and running and gasping, not missing a moment, eating and praying and loving right along with her.

I enjoyed the sections my daughter had highlighted; they might have been mine. My girl is heading to Europe, and her journey will not be so different, in pursuit of learning, and understanding, and healing her own broken heart. I have no doubt that she will return changed forever, and in a most wondrous way. Travel does that to us. The meeting with new cultures and peoples, challenging our own comfort zones, testing our own ideas of what life means and how we fit into it.

I eagerly rush to read more of Gilbert's work. She knows how to translate experience into wonderful words, and for one reason above all -- her courage to write honestly about an honest effort to live life well.

Most highly and enthusiastically recommended.
Profile Image for أثير النشمي.
Author 7 books14.4k followers
January 21, 2011
واو !
أعظم الكُتب هي تلك التي تُغير حياتك ..
هذا الكتاب , قادر على تغييرِ حياتي بلا أدنى شك ..
كتاب عظيم ... عظيم جداً ..
1 review4 followers
July 7, 2008
Reading the title and the premise of this book will mislead you greatly as to what you are going to find inside.
This book is not uplifting or spiritual in any way. Elizabeth Gilbert is going through life unaffected by anything except her own whims. She is so selfish and self congratulating, trying to disguise it as self depreciating and humble. Her writing style isn't so bad, it's the content. She continuously looks out at the world and how it is affecting her, not accepting responsibility for creating all of the unfortunate situations in her life that led up to her traveling to the three I's.
Although she said nothing about her ex husband except that he was completely unreasonable and hated her (I wonder why), I still felt sympathetic for him. She gave no convincing reason for leaving him other than that she was sad.

She spent her time in Italy eating and congratulating herself on not having sex with a good-looking Italian man.

She spent her time in India "meditating" although it sounded more like complaining to me. (She does add a nice little bit about how she's glad she's not slaving away in the fields in the excruciating heat like some of the native women she sees.)

She spent her time in Indonesia feeling superior to the natives who apparently want to take you for all they can. She also decides to end her sexual sabbatical when she meets a slightly older gentleman from Brazil who caters to her self absorption and vanity.

In the end all she seems to have learned is that selfishness brings happiness, so if we can all leave our obligations behind and follow every whim and fancy, we fill finally find "god" or at least some form of euphoria. I think she's got it backward, there is something to be said for taking care of yourself first, but that is all she ever worries about. She is perfectly able to live her life however she sees fit, I am just irritated she put it in a book under a different guise and I fell for it.
Profile Image for Jen.
40 reviews13 followers
February 20, 2009
Wow. I just gave Eat, Pray, Love a tearful send-off. And now I will relate to you the reasons why.

The book has helped me come to terms with the fact that this whole divorce healing process is taking so long, longer than any of my friends expected I think, and that it's not over. But even so, it's OK. I can still live my life and do new things and make new friends and still work through it. I'm not cheating anyone by giving them what I've got right now, as opposed to the miracle woman that I think I should be. I don't have to stop living until I've deemed myself "healed," because I am pretty sure this has changed me forever. Which is OK. It's good, actually.

The author starts making a concerted effort to repair herself. She has a moment of self-forgiveness:

I also knew somehow that this respite of peace would be temporary. I knew that I was not yet finished for good, that my anger, my sadness, and my shame would all creep back eventually, escaping my heart and occupying my head once more. I knew that I would have to keep dealing with these thoughts again and again until I slowly and determinedly changed my whole life. And that this would be difficult and exhausting to do. But my heart said to my mind in the dark silence of that beach: "I love you, I will never leave you, I will always take care of you." (p. 328)

This has been somewhat of a mantra for me in recent months. I read in a sort of self-help book back in May a quote that has stayed with me: "The only person who will never leave you is you." By choice or no, everyone in your life is bound to leave you someday. You must take care of yourself, and be happy with who you are. Especially if you're going to spend every day of the rest of your life with YOU.

Despite our best efforts to be happy, however, we're human and shit happens:

She'd fallen in love with a Sardinian artist, who'd promised her another world of light and sun, but had left her, instead, with three children and no choice but to return to Venice and run the family restaurant. She is my age but looks even older than I do, and I can't imagine the kind of man who could do that to a woman so attractive. ("He was powerful," she says, "and I died of love in his shadow.) (p. 101)

"Died of love in his shadow" is exactly it. I can't put it any better. I don't even think it needs explanation. There is pain and sorrow everywhere, within everyone. "Life is what happens while you're making other plans." Right? The author ends up in Bali, visiting daily with a medicine man. She asks him how to cure the craziness of the world:

Ketut went on to explain that the Balinese believe we are each accompanied at birth by four invisible brothers, who come into the world with us and protect us throughout our lives. When the child is in the womb, her four siblings are even there with her--they are represented by the placenta, the amniotic fluid, the umbilical cord, and the yellow waxy substance that protects an unborn baby's
The child is taught from the earliest consciousness that she has these four brothers with her in the world wherever she goes, and that they will always look after her. The brothers inhabit the four virtues a person needs in order to be safe and happy in life: intelligence, friendship, strength, and (I love this one) poetry. The brothers can be called upon in any critical situation for rescue and assistance. When you die, your four spirit brothers collect your soul and bring you to heaven. (p. 251)

I love this spiritual Balinese metaphor for familial love and protection. I may only have 3 brothers, but I do feel like they are my Western counterpart to the Balinese brothers. My family has been with me all the way through this past 11 months.

Another thing. I am reassured about my own attempts to travel, see people, grow, learn, live, love. Happiness is achieved with hard work. I've known this all along, and tried my very best to apply it to my marriage, but was dealt a blow and learned that I can only be responsible for my own happiness. I can't sacrifice myself for the happiness of someone else. I can't erase myself because someone else is having a temper tantrum at the airport. (I used to jokingly tell people that I pretended not to know him at the airport when he'd pitch a fit. But it was true.) And now I've been able to spend time making myself happy. At first I would elatedly think things to myself like, "I'm in the car and no one is angry. It's quiet, no one is yelling or punching the steering wheel or threatening to turn around in 5 minutes if the traffic doesn't clear up. No one is weaving violently around cars and looking sideways at me as if to say, 'Don't challenge me, I AM a safe driver!' I can change the radio station. I can even turn the radio off. I can be ME."

Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it... And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. (p.206)

So how does one move on after trying so hard and failing to make someone else happy? The author of the book has gotten divorced and goes on a year-long voyage of self-discovery, and ends up returning to a place she had visited during the throes of divorce, but this time she is completely content. I read this part and immediately thought of Friday night, driving home from my friend's house. I drove past a Wawa where I had pulled over to cry my eyes out on my way home from her house one night in the spring. It was one of those moments in the car where I was alone and driving with my thoughts, and it was bad enough that I had to stop the car. I remember calling Andrea and crying it out with her. But on Friday I looked at the lot and thought, "Poor Jen." And I was sad for myself and what I had been through, but in a sort of "she-went-through-a-lot-and-it-breaks-my-heart" kind of way. Like I was thinking about someone else, a best friend, not living it in the moment. Now, although my experience was on a much smaller scale than Elizabeth Gilbert's, I SEE. I understand. I identify.

I think about the woman I have become lately, about the life that I am now living, and about how much I always wanted to be this person and live this life, liberated from the farce of pretending to be anyone other than myself. I think of everything I endured before getting here and wonder if it was me--I mean, this happy and balanced me, who is now dozing on the deck of this small Indonesian fishing boat--who pulled the other, younger, more confused and more struggling me forward during all those hard years... Knowing already that everything would be OK, that everyhing would eventually bring us together here. Right here, right to this moment. Where I was always waiting in peace and contentment, always waiting for her to arrive and join me. (pp. 329-330)

And that's not all:

In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices. (p. 334)

60 reviews293 followers
August 18, 2019
I have been hating this book for such a long time without reading it.
Without any judgment, I loved what this book has to teach with such
simplicity and sweetness!
And made me laugh at a few times too!
Profile Image for Ginny Messina.
Author 9 books127 followers
December 19, 2008
Elizabeth Gilbert is a really good writer but I still had to absolutely slog through to the end of her annoying book. I did so with the faint hope that maybe there would be some last minute clue about all the hype —or that maybe Gilbert would finally wake up one morning and say “Hey, maybe it’s not all about me!”

No such luck. Her perspective is shallow, completely self-absorbed and lacking in empathy. The spiritual part of her quest never translates to any feelings of compassion or altruism. Gilbert spends close to a year living among the poorest people in the world and still manages to think about nothing but herself and her own needs.

Ugh—this book is offensive.
Profile Image for Angie.
204 reviews39 followers
August 9, 2016
"Oh, you spent a year in India? Well, have you read that book Eat, Pray, Love? She was in India, too! You'd love it!"

If I can forgive Elizabeth Gilbert for being paid upfront to undertake a journey of "self-discovery" (and I can--sign me up for "Clueless in Calcutta"!), then certainly, she can forgive me for only reading this because I felt obligated to do so. (And for "riding her coattails" in this review, so to speak.)

Her style is pretty easy to get into, although I was completely fed up with her sense of humor by I got to the end of the Italy "eat" section. There are certainly things we can admire her for: her honesty, for starters, even if she gets really annoying.

A style note: I really love that she divided up the book into three main sections, with 36 stories each, for a total of 108 stories. I felt that some of the 36 sections were rather arbitrarily forced into sections, but I still love the set-up.

I can't speak for her trips in Italy and Bali, knowing nothing about the culture, but I can speak for India, and it needs it.

To sum up the "Pray" chapter in one line: Her experience in India was akin to someone coming to America and staying at Disneyland for four months.

This is not to belittle her spiritual development there; in fact, I think the India section was my favorite out of the three. I've had friends say that they didn't want to go to India after reading this section, or that it was "long" and "boring", but I really enjoyed getting inside her head and watching her smooth out some very big knots and minor kinks.

When it comes down to it, however, she stayed at an Ashram for the entire duration of her stay in India, only really leaving the compound to drink soda (which, fyi, is called "Thums-Up" not "Thumbs-Up", and presumably does not have high fructose corn syrup in it, as most Indian sodas use sugar instead).

I've been to a few of these compounds, namely, the Root Institute in Bodh Gaya and the Deer Park Institute in Bir. They are modern, clean, and often amazing institutes (Deer Park has a "plastic room": they recycle everything, and for those juice boxes and plastic bags they can't? They put them in a room, until the day arrives that they can properly dispose of the material without damage to the environment). For an American tourist, these are great places to go on retreat, because you are largely sheltered from the Indian life outside. You get filtered water, nice and nutritious meals (with low risk of dysentery!), access to hot water (through solar panels, but many places also have heaters that they can switch on for you if it's a cloudy day), Western toilets (over-rated), and you meet some amazing people in these places--usually a mixture of extremely-well-to-do Indians and educated people from around the world. You will, occasionally, meet one or two locals, usually employed by the institutes.

But what you experience in these institutes is NOT the culture that lies outside. It's equivalent to Disneyland because you are taken care of, and can pick and choose what you want to do (literally: yoga or meditation? field trip to the fabulous Hindu temple a day's car ride away?), and as American as Disneyland may be, it's only one small facet of what America is and stands for.

She mentions, while having a particularly moving spiritual experience, that "this is the worst nightmare of every American parent whose child has ever run away to India to find herself--that she will end up having orgies with trees in the moonlight." I laughed, and asked my mom if she thought that's what I was doing. She didn't say anything, so I said, "You were probably worried I was having real orgies!"

She fails to understand a few key points about India: one, that a female monk, in as many traditions as I am aware, is translated to "nun" in the English language; and two, that the reason why flights out of India are often at 4 am is to expediate your transition into another timezone. For instance, if you're traveling from Delhi to Bangkok, your plane will leave late at night so when you arrive in Bangkok, it is morning, and you have to force yourself to stay awake, thus helping you defeat your jetlag. Same with flights from Delhi to New York; I might have been as tired as all hell, but hello New York sunlight!

So, would I recommend this book? Probably not, unless you're interested in what a privileged white woman can do with a book advance, or if you're interested in Indian new-age beliefs. This is a bathtub-full-of-bubbles read: completely mindless, but ohhhh pretty bubbles. You might get something out of it, but it is by no means a religious text, or one that's life-changing.

The next person that comes up to me, finds out I spent a year in India, and brings up this book is only going to get a sweet smile and, "Did you enjoy that book? Wait until mine comes out."
Profile Image for Odai Al-Saeed.
876 reviews2,489 followers
July 20, 2011
أداء رائع جبار وسيرة ذاتية ضمن سياق روائي مذهل..المشكلة في تقييمي لأمر ما هو دائما ما يكون تحت الضغط الذي تسوقه العواطف لكن ما وجدته في هذا الكتاب يسمو أيضا عن جبر خاطر العاطفة .....إن رحلة البحث عن الذات وايثار حياة الاستقرار لإعادة استكشاف الروح هو محتوي هذه القطعة الابداعية أما الماهية فكانت من خلال العنوان ( طعام،صلاة،حب).فالطعام مقرون باللذة والروحانية هي سمو النفس من خلال الصلاة والحب مصدره العاطفة لذا كان السفر الي ايطاليا فالهند عقبتها رحله اندونيسيا ...........أذهلني الكتاب وراقلي ما قرأت وأنا الان أقرأه من جديد بنسخته الانجليزية...حقا يستحق الاشادة

Profile Image for Cam S.
9 reviews11 followers
February 1, 2014
I had a very love/give-me-a-break relationship with this book, so I had to give it a week or so before writing a review to let it settle. I began the book on an optimistic note, then quickly became annoyed with the long, rambling chapters justifying the author's use of the word "God" and how OTHER words for "God" are neither better nor worse, more nor less accurate, than "God" but this author feels a connection with the word "God" so she's going to use it here but REALLY, there are LOTS of ways to express the concept, etc. etc. etc.

I breathed a sigh of relief when the Italy section began, and my annoyance quickly turned into enjoyment; in fact, during this section, I couldn't put the book down. I found the author's honesty endearing and her handling of telling the story of her divorce to be very tasteful (she declines to go into much detail or to take cheap swipes at her ex-husband--a choice that becomes even more obviously conscious as the book goes on and the reader realizes that bold honesty is not something this author shies away from).

The India section, though it had its bright moments and colorful personalities (Richard from Texas was one of my favorite people in the book), was sluggish, especially during long examinations of the author's difficulty with meditating, her relationship with God, and other highly personal experiences that, frankly, I applaud her for living so fully and experiencing so honestly, but don't feel they are really relevant or all that interesting to anyone else. They're the stuff of personal journals, not dinner-table conversation. The best example of this was a chapter in which the author abruptly reveals that she traveled through her meditative vortex and encountered God. There's no setting the stage or putting the experience into the context of the rest of the book, just several long pages describing the ways she couldn't possibly describe it. Sections like this, to me, only alienate the reader.

The last section, set in Bali, did much to humanize her after those esoteric meditations on...meditation. I loved that the reader could really feel that she was finally transcending this deeply inward, wounded stage of her life and coming out onto the other side. Her writing shed much of its cumbersome devotion to detail, and we began to hear from her not every day or every moment, but periodically, to give us an update on where she'd been and what she'd been doing. It felt to me that she was finally living her life instead of just writing about it.

After a few days of processing the book, what stood out for me was the author's truly courageous willingness to write in an intensely personal style and be completely honest about herself. There were points when her honesty made me feel a bit uncomfortable--the type of uncomfortable where you wonder, "Did she mean to tell us that??" But in the end, I admired that the book was so unapologetically truthful--really a deeply felt, no-holds-barred account of one person's struggle to live through the joys and devastations that we all experience. It's not often that an author lets her readers in so completely, and though it didn't always connect for me, I appreciated that.
Profile Image for Amira Mahmoud.
618 reviews8,294 followers
August 4, 2015
" امرأة تبحث عن كُل شيء "
تلك العبارة على غلاف الرواية , هي ما جذبني للكتاب كالمغناطيس
( إنها أنا )
هكذا حدثت نفسي
إنها أنا ..
تلك من تبحث عن كُل الشيء
تلك التي تُريد أن تُصبح حرة , دون قيود , تقضي حياتها ما بين السفر والتجول في كُل ركن في العالم , تبحث عن تاريخ هذا الركن , تشارك أهله حياتهم وأيامهم , تتذوق طعامهم , تحبهم ويحبونها
كُل ما تريده هو تعلم لغة , كتاب جديد تقرؤه , وجبة لذيذة أو حتى كوب نسكافيه
تُغريها السعادة التي تكمن في الأشياء البسيطة
لكن سرعان ما يؤرقها حنينها وتوقها للحياة المستقرة
( - أنتِ ترغبين في الكثير , والحياة لن تمنحك كُل شيء عزيزتي
- أنا لا أرغب في الكثير , أنا فقط أرغب في القليل من كُل شيء
- طمع أم أنانية
- بل طموح
- لكن حظك ....
- أعلم , أعلم أنك ستقولين أني سيئة الحظ
- بل لا تملكين حظاً من الأساس
- فليكن , أنا لا أؤمن بالحظ
- بماذا تؤمنين إذا
- أؤمن بأشياء أخرى كالقدر و ... النصيب )
تذكرت حواري مع نفسي هذا , عندما كانت إليزابيث تتحدث إلى نفسها من خلال دفترها
وعندما كانت تجثو على ركبتيها ورأسها على أرض الحمام , تبكي وتئن بصمت
ذكرتني كيف كُنت أظل طوال نصف ساعة ساجدة وأبكي بقلب يملؤه الألم , لأنهض براحة وكأني تركت كُل همومي على الأرض ورحلت
ذكرتني بتفاصيل كثيرة في حياتي , منها ما نسيته ومنها ما لم أرغب في تذكره
أعتقد هذا هو سر تعلقي بهذه الرواية
تشبهني :)

أحببت ليز , أحببت جرأتها في كتابة مشاعرها وآلامها
إنه من الصعوبة أن تشارك من هم أقرب الأشخاص إليك في لحظات ضعفك
كيف وأنت تشارك ضعفك وتقصه على ملايين القراء !!
أحببت طريقة السرد العفوية
شعرت بصدق آلمها , وسعدت بسعادتها التي توصلت إليها في النهاية

طعام في إيطاليا > تعلمت أنه هناك أشياء كثيرة في منتهى البساطة , من شأنها أن تخلق لنا السعادة

صلاة في الهند > تعلمت أهمية الروحانية في الذات
أهمية وجود ( الله ) في حياتي
حقاً نحُن من نحتاجه , نحتاج أن نثق في أعماقنا أنه هناك من يرعانا ويشملنا بحمايته
أحتاجه لأجد التوازن داخلي , وسلامي النفسي

حب في أندونيسيا > ذكرتني بجملة أحلام مستغانمي أجمل حبّ هو الذي نعثُر عليه أثناء بحثِنا عن شيء آخر

أتمنى أن أجـد سلامي النفسي وتوازني الداخلي يوماً ما :)

أعتقد أنني بعد قراءة الرواية سأبحث أكثر عن التأمل واليوغا وفوائدهما وربما مارستهما
أعجبتني الفكرة :D

Profile Image for AMEERA.
277 reviews318 followers
July 10, 2017
this was beautiful and long journey between Italy , India , Indonesia i learned a lot of things in this book was amazing and a little boring for me i loved Italy part more than India and Indonesia but it's good book over all and happy to read it 💕'
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