Eat, Pray, Love

Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert This was a polarising book for me. Parts of it I adored, others I truly loathed, and I'm not entirely sure now if I actually like the author as a person. I'm just going to split this review into neatly ordered lists because - well, because I can!

eat

Loved:

*The evocative desciptions of delicious Italian food. (NOTE: do not read this on an empty stomach. In fact, go right ahead and prepare yourself a feast of fresh ciabatta, handmade dips and thinly sliced deli ham, with tomatoes and fresh-from-the-tree peaches right along side. Now you can read this book.)

*The descriptions of Roman culture - both modern and ancient.

*In fact, just everywhere that she actually talks about Italy.

Hated:

*The way she talks about her ex-husband. Yes, she was unhappy in her marriage but there is not one note of sorrow for the hurt she may have caused him, no apology, only her wittering on and on about "why must he drag out this divorce" and "why will he not forgive me?"


pray

Loved:

*Again, the descriptions of the culture and religion. Though looking back I keep feeling more and more sickened by the complete ignoring of, again, any suffering beyond the author's own.

Hated:

*The cringe-worthy descriptions of her "spiritual awakenings"
Now, I will note that I am not strictly an atheist (in the most used sense of the word), nor am I agnostic. I have spiritual beliefs, but I still feel kind of icky when I hear people talk too much about their own. This is a personal preference, and I know many people who would enjoy this section far more than I did.

*How much she whines. I really don't care if she was trying to be funny, even a little of her self-absorption can be endearing but it just becomes over the top, to the point where I just wanted her to stop talking. (At which point I would remember that I could just put down the book, luckily.)

love

Loved:

*This was hands down the best part of the book for me. Learning about Balinese culture, the delightful medicine man, how the path to joy can come simply by smiling... This was the part that actually inspired me.

*I now want to visit Bali, which is something I've never wanted before.

Hated:

*The way the whole new relationship was described. I just simply did not care about it at all, regardless of the fact that it was true - I just... didn't care! Surely at this point I should have been made to care - unable not to care? But no.

*It was at this point where I really noticed how the tenses are all messed up. Obviously she wrote some while she was travelling (present tense), and finished it later (past tense) but if I have one grammatical peeve (other than "your" and "you're" - really! How hard is it??) it's weird use of tense. I couldn't handle it, I really couldn't. In fact, this may have contributed to the loss of half a star (Yes, I am that petty).

In conclusion, I can sort of see why people were oh so inspired by Eat Pray Love but for me, most of it was "meh".