This memoir has garnered mixed reviews lately, with most people – especially women – either loving or hating it. I must admit that I fall into the loving it category, though I can realize that this story is probably more accessible to a more introverted personality than to an extroverted personality. Since I am definitely an introvert, I love her tale and the thoughts it provokes.
I found that this book is one to be savored. I first read it over the course of an entire summer, an impossibly long time for me since I love to read novels in a day. Elizabeth Gilbert’s prose captured my thoughts and imagination and really made me think. Her use of words and images invited the reader into her thoughts and her world. Gilbert’s language was accessible, imaginative yet understandable. I loved that she told her story in a series of short stories, giving the novel structure while highlighting only the important moments in her life. This structure eliminated long transitional passages, something I appreciated. Gilbert wrote an engaging and well-written novel that is a pleasant read.
While some critics complain that Gilbert ran away, I think that she did what she had to do to pursue happiness. I can relate, which is perhaps why I love this novel so much. The way that she approaches her life, her thoughts themselves, mimic my own though I do not have the same opportunities that she does. While Gilbert lived a life abroad for a year to learn about herself, this is not always possible. However, I don’t think that this fact should negate the book’s overall thoughts and lessons learned. People should give this book a fair read before passing judgment. Let it sit and soak into the mind. While rereading it quickly, I was more turned off to it. It was too much, too deep to enjoy on a surface level. I think that the movie encountered the same problem – too much, too quickly. Give this book some time, absorb it slowly – it’s worth the effort. Eat, Pray, Love is a spectacular read when given the chance.