If you haven’t read Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling memoir, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia, I highly recommend you read it before you see the movie version starring Julia Roberts which comes out on August 13th! It’s about a woman finding herself after divorce and break up with a boyfriend. An Indonesian medicine man told her she would live in Indonesia for four months, and she has always wanted to learn Italian as it’s such a beautiful language. Her ex-boyfriend got her into yoga and introduced her to an Indian guru. So she decides to study her own nature and find balance by experiencing what three cultures seem to “do best”. She first heads to Italy to surround herself with pleasure, then travels to India where she spends time in her guru’s ashram, then she heads to Bali, Indonesia to find balance.
I liked the organization of her book, and thought it was very effective and an interesting concept. It was organized into three sections with 36 parts each which totals to 108. This is a special number as the japa malas, a stand of beads that Yogis use as they meditate has 108 beads. This is what inspired early Catholics to begin using a rosary. I won’t give away any of the plot, but it’s a great book. It was easy to get into, but it got a tad boring for me during Elizabeth’s time in India.
I’ve got to say, I found Cathy Alter’s memoir, Up for Renewal: What Magazines Taught Me About Love, Sex, and Starting Over about coping after her divorce and trouble with men to be a much better read, and much harder to put down. I felt Cathy’s book seemed more real. She may not have traveled to three different countries, but she followed the advice of magazines for 12 months!Elizabeth’s book seems like a novel about a memoir. That said, there are a lot of really poignant thoughts in the book.
- Miss A