In her personal memoir, “Eat, Pray, Love,” Elizabeth Gilbert shares her journey through Italy, India and Bali.
After her world falls apart, Elizabeth, more affectionately known as Liz, is consumed with grief and, at times, thoughts of suicide. She realizes the only thing that could save her is a time of uninterrupted self-discovery and reflection. This leads her to indulge in all types of hearty cuisine in Italy, prayer and devotion in India, and a balance between spirituality and reality in
The book, bursting with praise and sealed with the title of a New York Times Notable Book award, promises an invigorating tale that touches hearts and empowers lives.
Unfortunately, this promise unravels as Gilbert’s narrative rattles on about nothing of true importance. Her personal appeal reaches only those who can afford to take a year off work and out of their lives – a very small percentage of the population.
At times, Gilbert seems too consumed by her own problems to even appreciate the worldly wonders around her.
“Eat, Pray, Love” is not a complete literary failure; it begins with the emotional downfall of a typical American woman who just could not find happiness in her typical American life.
As Gilbert reaches her lowest point, readers feel for her and hope she can recover from her emotional demise.
That hope continues well into the first journey into Italy, where she uses learning a foreign language as therapy and enjoys the Italian cuisine with many comical Italian men. Somewhere between enjoying platefuls of spaghetti in Italy and learning to be devout in India, readers forget why exactly they are rooting for Liz and must have extreme self-discipline to make it through the next 200 pages.
“Eat, Pray, Love”: these things are each important to any journey of self-discovery. But, they can be found in other places than a 352-page memoir that leaves readers with disappointment and a relief that the novel is finally over.