Eat, Pray, Love: The Verdict

Okay…I’ll admit it.  I was prepared to really dislike this book. 

As I said in my earlier post, I’d read some less than glowing reviews where the critics groused about Elizabeth Gilbert’s self-absorption, etc.   

But she had me from page 14:

“Traditionally, I have responded to the transcendent mystics of all religions.  I have always responded with breathless excitement to anyone who has ever said that God does not live in a dogmatic scripture or in a distant throne in the sky, but instead abides very close to us indeed—much closer than we can imagine, breathing right through our own hearts.”

As a yoga practitioner of a number of years, a second level Reiki devotee , and student of all things psychic, this is right up my proverbial alley.  Rather than go into a long explanation, please see my post “Playing Poker with Tarot Cards.”

This book resonated with me on several other levels.  I, too, went through a divorce that knocked the slats out from under me, although my husband did the leaving and I was the one who was left. 

In my situation, I had two young children and was just starting out on what was supposed to by “my turn” at an education and a chance at a potentially well-paying job. 

Instead, I was faced with a husband of ten years who decided he didn’t like domesticity anymore and wanted out.  Not in the mere two years of professional schooling it would take me to become self-sufficient, but immediately.

Plus, he was a lawyer.   

I remember waking up alone, early in the morning after he finally left us.   The sun was just coming up.  Everything looked the same but everything had changed.  I felt like I was being pressed down into the bed by a heavy weight.  What the hell was I going to do now?

Well, I didn’t take to my bed and I soldiered on and got help from family (even his family) and made it through without him. 

Along the way, I met the man who would become my husband of 34 years as of this posting.  He reminds me a lot of Felipe in that he’s 11 years my senior and said the same thing to me that Felipe told Elizabeth: 

“I want to take care of you forever.”

And so far, he has more than lived up to that declaration.

***************************************** 

I’m not a traveler, not by a long shot.  I like my own little bed and my own bathroom and can’t imagine just taking off and turning up in some foreign land with no idea where I’m going to stay.  I admire Gilbert’s ability to do this and the way she describes it all in such a self-deprecating, conversational tone.

Some people have said the middle part about India drags, but since I was very familiar with all the concepts she presented, I guess I have a built-in appreciation.  (Having attempted meditation on several occasions, “monkey mind” can be an understatement.  In my case, it was more like a barrelful of them.)

I like writers who use humor and vivid description but without so much convoluted wordiness that I have to backtrack several times over paragraphs to understand what I just read.  Sure, I like to be challenged; but I don’t think I need to be exhausted after a couple hours of reading.  I found EPL mentally refreshing, like a dip in the pool.      

I love to read, but sometimes I’ve come across books where I keep paging ahead to see just how much longer I have to labor at it.  That didn’t happen here.   

I didn’t want this one to end. 

“Eat, Pray, Love” was definitely worth the $3.39 plus $3.99 shipping.  

(As for the movie….I may even see it before it comes out on DVD.)    🙂

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8 thoughts on “Eat, Pray, Love: The Verdict

    • Daisyfae, I thought of you so many times while reading this book! Your bravery in meeting up with two women bloggers from other countries on an island in Greece and having one hell of a time just boggles my mind. I can’t say for sure you’d enjoy all of EPL, but I’m sure there are parts you’d really connect with. Want to borrow my copy?

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  1. Happy anniversary to you and your Felipe (whether it’s today or not.) Dang! I may have to read the book again.

    This was beautifully told, Lady. You may like to prefer to see the world from your own bed, but it’s not because you’re short on guts!

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  2. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book. While I wasn’t nearly as enthusiastic about it, I did enjoy the writing style. She definitely knows how to put words together and I admired that throughout the book. If I could have gotten past my perception of her as a whiner, I would definitely have liked the book much more than I did.

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  3. I don’t know why people are so hard on the book! I think sometimes it’s just a case of it having been so successfully. You can’t deny she’s a very capable writer, and it’s not like she isn’t up front about getting a book advance to do the soul-searching journey. I think she’s pretty darn honest. It may not be everyone’s cuppa tea, but a lot of the griping sounds like sour grapes to me. Glad you enjoyed it!

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