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Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert - Review 2

Leonicka Valcius: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert - Review 2

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert - Review 2

Part two of our super-awesome insightful review!

Leonicka: I didn’t withdraw it. I kept it to myself. I mean how could I say, “Omigawd she’s so pathetic” when my particular friend was saying “she’s just like me!” Awkward.
Sabrina: Thanks dude.
Leonicka: I LOVE YOU

Sabrina: Moving on, Italy was a wonderful, delicious, magical whirlwind. Not everyone gets the chance to just up and leave their entire life behind and LIVE. How I long to do that—alas, I live on a publishing salary. Traveling around the world to eat my own weight in pizza and pasta while trying to find myself is not in the budget. More than one manicure a month is also not in the budget, but that’s a whole other matter. Le sigh. I embraced this part of the book because Elizabeth was getting to do what millions of people long to but can’t. So I lived vicariously through her, and mother of God but did that pizza taste good in my head!

Leonicka: Putting the Italy section first was clever. It is the least offensive section and made me lower my guard.  The comments I made while reading switch from mocking the narrator to planning my own travels. I took notes on how to make a network of contacts in a foreign country and wrote up a list of must-visit places. I have even resolved to make serious plans to go to Brazil in 2014. The amazing travel was combined with decadent descriptions of food. Italy is clearly made for me.

Sabrina: Sadly, post-Italy, things went south for me. Having grown up in India, I found nothing in that section particularly exciting. I also don’t really believe she found God or did a lot of praying in India, it was more that she came to terms with some of the harsher aspects of her life. So, well, maybe that’s as good as finding God. Bali allowed me to picture some stunning and warm scenery, but that was the extent of what captured me. As Elizabeth progressed, I too found her to be a bit tiresome. To quote myself from an email to my friend, “She’s starting to seem like an overly zealous ditzy American longing for self-realization through other people’s cultures”.  Not to bash traveling Americans in the slightest; I love them and I particularly love when people have interest in other countries and cultures. But Elizabeth was just trying too hard and ultimately, I’m not sure her ending was satisfactory enough for me.

Leonicka: Yep. I knew I’d have issues with the “pray” section. My faith is very important to me and I’m quite inflexible. I love understanding other people’s spirituality but the tone of this was so prescriptive that I felt defensive. The Bali section was forgettable. As in I forget what happened. She made friends and got a new boyfriend? Idk. Something like that. I was trying to finish by that point.
Sabrina: It was an interesting read because I experienced moments of immense clarity “Oh my god, that’s exactly how I feel/behave” and then other moments where I found it all tiresome and wanted to be done with the read. Usually reading a book makes me want to watch the movie equivalent but I can say with great certainty, I have no interest in this one. If you’re curious about the book, I’d say go ahead and give it a whirl. If you’re not, then don’t bother.

Leonicka: I agree. There were good points that I will try to incorporate into my own life. For example:
  • Happiness is not something I have to earn.
  • I need to practice discipline and meditation in my faith (‘cause, frankly, my wishy-washy flakiness is disrespectful to the divine).
But I was so put off by the privilege and pretension of the narrator that I would have missed these lessons if I weren’t taking notes for this review. Overall this book wasn’t totally for me but then again it really had a “too each their own” message so I guess that’s okay.

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