Eat, Pray, Love [Book Review]

So, riding the marketing high of this book, and after hearing VERY mixed reviews, I decided to pick it up and read it. I… was not impressed, and I don’t plan on seeing the film.

I will give the book credit where it is due – this is exactly what it is marketed as, a woman’s journey with specific focuses, in Italy, India and Bali.

This will be a difficult sort of journey for any woman to replicate – given her $200,000 advance to write the book – in the sort of economy and world we live in. It’s hard to find US $200,000 to globe-trot with, where you can indulge yourself all day by doing whatever it is you’re interested in and waving off the idea of working or having a working-holiday at the best, dealing with coming back to a career and life in your home country, etc. Gilbert at least had the right idea of when to do this, as her life was coming apart — but otherwise?

I suppose it was nothing more than a larger version of this blog (an assumption that other people care about your life, in microcosm or macrocosm) and, to me, Gilbert seemed terribly self-centred, overwhelming things with drama and finding the absolute best opportunities for story rather than trying to truly experience the countries. I read the book through because I felt it was appropriate in order to be able to understand her tripartite journey and the book as a whole, but I can’t recommend it wholeheartedly to consumers to read, or even for anyone interested in getting a glimpse of life in India or of Indian community. I recommend Holy Cow! by Sarah MacDonald much more for aspects of religious life and thought than I can recommend Eat, Pray, Love.

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