Elizabeth Gilbert is at an all time low point in her life. Having just gone through a horrible divorce that just kept on taking time, as well as having a relationship that was very emotionally draining, Liz is depressed (understandably so). Liz decides to travel for a whole year, dividing her time between three places: Italy, India and Indonesia. This is also how the book is divided: Eat = Italy; Pray = India; Love = Indonesia.
I have to admit that I did see the movie first, and I liked it, which made me want to read the book. So I have read the book, and I really didn’t like it. It just isn’t the kind of book I like reading. I’ll review this book by book, because that’ll just be the easiest.
Eat (Italy). In this book you get some background about Liz’s divorce, her relationship with David and how she decided to take this yearlong trip. These parts were nice and interesting. They were alternated by stories of her ‘adventures’ in Italy, which really were pretty much all about eating (and a little about learning Italian). Of course there is much more to this book, you also get a history lesson on the origin of Italian, you learn about the friends she’s making and just about the way Liz finds a way to enjoy herself. It was an okay book, there were just so many parts that were not interesting to me. The origin of Italian is not something I really want to read about in a novel, especially not in this non concise way. There are so many parts about the city that I really think the book could have gone without. There was some spirituality, but not too much.( I don’t mind reading about it every now and then.) But this of course is in huge contrast with the next book.
Pray (India). Liz has made it to India, to the ashram of her guru. It was interesting to read about the ashram, it seemed nice. Liz meets a great character here in India, which lightened up this book a bit. But I have to say, this was definitely the book I liked the least of the three. There was just so much spirituality! Meditation, meditation and more meditation. It was just everywhere. Liz struggles to meditate the way she wants and this is her way to success (on the meditation front). I’m sorry to say that this bored me to no end. I’m not a spiritual person, I have nothing against it, but I really don’t like spending my time reading about it for about a 100 pages.
Love (Indonesia). This is where Liz tries to combine what she learned in Italy and India, enjoying and meditation. She is searching for a way to balance these two out. Obviously this is also the book where she falls in love. I liked this book better again, yet it was still swamped with stories that I really could have done without. The thing I like the most is her friend with whom she speaks American. Their relationship was really entertaining and just fun. Wayan and Ketut are okay characters, but again with the Gods and the ghosts and spirituality. I also found that this book ended so abruptly. Yes there is a sequel, but that’s not how it works. A book should have a decent ending, it should be able to stand on its own.
All in all I liked the movie so much better. It was just less of the spirituality and more of the story. In the book I just found that the story was drowning between all the spirituality and history lessons. It’s just not my type of book, neither is it written the way I like my books to be written.