I thoroughly enjoyed watching the film Eat Pray Love with Julia Roberts, so when I saw the original book it was based on at a B&B I was staying at I was instantly drawn to it. I’m delighted to say it was the most uplifting and enjoyable book I have read for a long time.
I got started and was quickly hooked into Elizabeth’s story, but I only had a two night stay, so had to buy the book immediately on my return home; I couldn’t leave Elizabeth in Italy, eating and filling out her figure, when I was enjoying her humorous and candid account so much!
As is usual the movie is a much slimmed down version of the book, necessarily so. I found reading Elizabeth’s story of how she found herself following the break-up of her relationships by going on an adventure leading her around the world profoundly satisfying. She explores the gastronomic delights of Italy, prayer and meditation in an Indian Ashram and learning to love with an open heart in Bali. She comes across as very human and genuine throughout her writing and it feels like she is taking you on her trip with her, sharing her highs and lows, warts and all.
I appreciated Elizabeth’s introduction explaining that her book is divided into 108 little stories, one for each bead on a japa mala, prayer beads used in mantra practice. She explains that 108 is considered an auspicious number as it adds up to 9, which is 3x3, and that she decided to structure her three part story into 36 tales for each. As a structure it works, keeping your interest and serving up her adventures in ‘bite -sized portions’.
I would strongly recommend reading this to any woman who has found herself at the end of a marriage or romance and is wondering, “What next?” It is a message that your life can be fulfilling, can actually be better than ever and that your heart can mend and love again, if you are prepared to work on it and listen to what you really need to do to nurture yourself. Elizabeth’s tactic of taking a year out to travel may not be accessible for everyone, but her determination to listen in to what her soul is asking her is.
For those of us who would like to experience some of the more spiritual destinations and experiences the world has to offer then this is also a lovely, engaging and inspiring travel book. Who knows how many women Elizabeth has inspired to take off on a spiritual adventure of self-discovery?
Watch the movie too! It is a lovely, heartwarming film.