Genre: Non-fiction/ Travel Memoir
Publication Date: 2006
Page Count: 330
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Elizabeth Gilbert has just went through a terrible and long divorce. She is a writer and loves to travel and decides she is not ready to give all that up and have children like her husband wishes her to. After four terrible years of the divorce process, she is finally free of her marriage and goes on a journey to free herself from her self-hate and blame. Gilbert visits Italy, India, and Bali over the course of a year and learns self-love and acceptance.
This book was HUGE a couple of years ago, but I never really had any interest to read it. Last year I picked it up at my local Goodwill for a quarter because it was so cheap, but I didn't know if I would ever pick it up or not. Then as I was making my goals for 2016, I decided to read more nonfiction, and I remembered that I had this book sitting on my shelves. I decided to pick it up on a whim, and I'm so glad I did.
This book is divided into thirds: Italy (eat), India (pray), and Bali (love). I loved the first part of this novel about Gilbert's time in Italy. Gilbert decides to learn Italian just for the sheer pleasure of learning it and because it was something she has always wanted to do. This section has lots of amazing food and Gilbert does a lot of reflecting on her failed marriage and failed relationship after her separation from her husband. Gilbert is amazingly honest in this novel, and I really respect her and this novel for that reason. Gilbert is so honest about her divorce and the feelings she had about herself during the process. Gilbert's personal growth throughout the novel was amazing and really inspiring.
The second part of the novel was my least favorite, but I still found it interesting. This section was all about spirituality and devotion, which is something that I am not really big on. I found it really interesting to read about her spiritual journey in India, but in the back of my mind, I couldn't help but think how ridiculous some of the things were. I know Gilbert paid TONS of money to stay in this Ashram and study under a guru that she would never meet because the guru was living it up in the U.S. With that said, I still found it interesting to hear about her spiritual journey and how it helped it on her journey to forgiving herself and healing.
The third section was again really enjoyable. This section has a really great cast of characters and wraps up Gilbert's journey perfectly. I'm really glad I picked this one up for my first nonfiction read of the year, as it has definitely made me excited to pick up more nonfiction reads this year. I loved the combination of self-discovery and travel in this one. If you have any recommendations for nonfiction reads, let me know!