EAT PRAY LOVE || BOOK REVIEW

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Eat Pray Love Book Cover

Title: Eat Pray Love
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 2006
Summary: Elizabeth Gilbert chronicles her trip around the world after her divorce and what she discovered during her travels.

The Neverending Story

I can’t believe I actually made it through this book because if you follow Reel Literature on Goodreads, you will see that it took way more time than usual to finish this book. I am usually not a fan of non-fiction books, but I was hoping the traveling aspect of Eat Pray Love would help me prevail. However, that was far from the case. The book has 108 chapters split evenly among the 3 countries for a very specific reason that is explained in the beginning of the book and of which I wholly appreciate as a person who looks for purpose often. Although the chapters are often only a few pages at the most, it felt torturous getting through the novel. I read the e-book version, which I checked out at my local library (as I do with most of the books I’ve read). I am usually able to finish the book within the 3-week loan period. However, I had to check this book out TWO MORE TIMES just to get through it. Even for a busy person like me, that is not a good sign.

No Sympathy for the Devil

I always thought I had empathy and sympathy for others, but reading this book has taught me that I have those feelings in limited supply. I have never been married, so of course I have never been divorced, so I can never relate to the pain and suffering Liz had to endure to leave her marriage. However, jumping head first into a serious relationship with someone when you’re not even close to signing those papers sounds like the most unhealthy thing a person can do. Maybe your time would be better spent going to therapy to figure out why you need to always be in relationships. Every time I started to relate and empathize with Liz, she would once again become an annoying neurotic hot mess, and I would become a side-eyeing hater who can’t stop hard sighing and rolling my eyes. There’s a reason all the countries Liz chooses to visit start with the letter “I” because we all know the “I” in “TEAM” is in the a-hole and you can’t spell “team” without “me”. Le sigh, I know…I’m doing the most, but so is ya girl Liz.

Overall Opinion

I cannot believe this book was a best-seller and a top fave of Oprah because I didn’t feel moved by any of Liz’s mis-adventures. It’s unfortunate because I had high hopes as someone who also lives with wanderlust.

The Final Grade

Burn It: It took nearly 2 months to finish a book that was less than 500 pages. Need we say more?

Your Turn

So…do you give the book thumbs up or thumbs down? Were you lacking empathy for the precocious heroine? Are you the “I” in “TEAM”? How long did it take you to finish the book? Let us know in the comments! |RL

P.S. Want more Eat Pray Love? Read the movie review! Join the quotefest!

6 Comments

  1. I am so, so glad I am not the only person giving this book wicked side eye. It never felt to me like she was traveling to escape any kind of hardship, just running from a massive case of privileged first world problems. I’m still trying to figure out what her first husband really did that was so beastly (granted it’s been a while since I read the book and my memory might be skewed). And who has the money to go traipsing around the world after a messy divorce?

    1. Katisha @ Reel Literature

      I actually thought something was wrong with me because I was not feeling the book at all. I kept thinking, “What are other people seeing in this book that I’m just not getting.” Glad to know I’m not alone in my feelings.

      I think the first marriage ended basically because they wanted different things in life. Liz wanted to travel the world, and her husband wanted to start a family.

      I know right! I kept thinking…your divorce left you broke and desolate, how are you affording this?!

  2. So, I’ve read this book twice in my life time. The first time was right after a horrific break-up with my college boyfriend who I thought I was going to marry. That cheating fool messed me up and this book somehow helped me realize that there is life after love. (You’re welcome, Cher.) Now, I wasn’t financially set to go globe trotting for a year to fix my heart, but I could read about her experiences for $14.99. So, at that time, I loved the book and the idea of traveling the world.

    But, then I read it again last year (almost 10 years later). I’ve grown, I’ve had relationships come and go, I’ve traveled a bit… and it almost pained me to get through the book this time. Italy sounded great – lots of food, travels with new friends, more food with wine. But then put your butt on a plane to go home and get your stuff straight.

    1. Katisha @ Reel Literature

      I can also see this book moving my younger self because I’ve always had the dream of traveling around the world. Who wouldn’t want to leave everything else behind and just go? That was THE definition of empowerment to me.

      Too bad for me and the book that the first time I’m reading it is in full-fledged adulthood. At this stage in my life, I see Liz as running away from the problems she should be dealing with head on. She definitely needs to spend some time in therapy, then she can celebrate with a carefree trip to Italy.

  3. Gayathri Lakshminarayanan

    I read this book about 6 years ago and my younger self got swayed by the great reviews and the hype about the movie and bought the book. I read it for about 2 weeks, which at that time was a big no-no. I even liked parts of it.

    And I attempted to re-read the book about an year ago and couldn’t get past the first 50 page. Well, I grew up I guess. It was so damn slow and uninspriring.

    Gayathri @ Musings Over Nothing

    1. Katisha @ Reel Literature

      I totally agree this book was way overhyped! I must have been swayed by the hype too because I was definitely expecting way more than what was delivered. I was so disappointed! I am so glad other people were also not impressed by this book because I worried I was just being a big hater.

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