Monday, December 1, 2008

Monthly Book Review: Eat, Pray, Love

Eat, Pray, Love
One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
by Elizabeth Gilbert

Bella: "Finding oneself" is arguably the most difficult subject to write well about but this is definitely not my most favourite biography/memoir ever read.

I found it extremely hard to keep reading this book. Especially when the author burst into sobs yet again in the middle of prayer, or a conversation, or walking down the street, or (more likely) on the floor of yet another bathroom, I nearly gave up.

I really tried to enjoy this book and even like the author and I imagine she hoped to come across as a flawed but honest person. Instead her writing came across to me as self indulgent and shallow at times. And I found myself cringing at some of her embarrassingly cliché one liners: "I'm putting this happiness in a bank somewhere, not merely FDIC protected but guarded by my four spiritbrothers.” OKAY??

What was most frustrating to me was the way in which she writes about this amazing journey in an almost blasé manner. It seems that during her journey nothing she touches or does turns out wrong; not a single wish goes unfulfilled and she always landed of her feet. And maybe that was the way it happened but I felt that if she perhaps put more emphasis in the miracle of these things happening I would have found it all the more sincere but instead the story just seems glossed over?

Rating: 2/5

Frankie: Well after hearing the rave reviews on Oprah and friends alike, I was very excited to be reading the much applauded book. To begin, I normally enjoy witty books, with dry humour or sarcasm, but as I started reading this book, I found Gilbert's little quips and jokes quite contrived and forced. I really did try to get engaged in this book however, I found it go from one extreme to the other. Full of her wannabe hip remarks to her then bipolar, crying on the floor mental breakdown moods.

Next, I was looking forward to reading her reflections in Italy and India, however most of what she reflected on was her love for David, not having sex and her inability to meditate. Here was a battered women, wanting to escape from her unhappy marriage, getting it, and then travel around the globe to experience unforgettable moments and people and here she was scribbling in a book about how she at the end of her tether and how she doesn't want to take anti depressants and how blah, blah, blah. Hello...lets wake up and smell the pasta???

I found it slightly frustrating to read this story, as much as I can understand a marriage break up hurts, I didn't want to read about if for the whole book. Everything in the book, Gilbert managed to whinge about, complain and take for granted?? Maybe this was her way of 'finding' herself but I found it annoying.

Overall, I gave it a 3 out of 5. :)


cw2smom said...

Hmmmm ladies! I am going to reread the book soon as I've pretty much forgotten everything I read and due to your reviews, I will be a little more in tune with what I am reading! I found that I really liked it, but I am easily entertained and perhaps in the state of mind I was in, found it inspirational, kind of? PS I again thank you from the bottom of my heart for the Kreativ Blogger award! I haven't forgotten it, and will get to my awardees very soon! Blessing for a great week ahead! Lisa

Frankie and Bella said...

Lisa: Maybe we are a little harsh..ha ha. I didn't hate the book, I just didn't enjoy a great deal. But maybe you need to be in a particular frame of mind?


Laura Jayne said...

Hello...lets wake up and smell the pasta???

LOL... this so made me laugh out loud.

Thank you for the review. Wasn't on my list of must reads before... definitely not now.

Pam said...

I agree, I was disappointed also. There was too much about her and not enough about the places she was visiting. The only parts I liked were the descriptions of the food, and there were not enough of those!

Simplicity said...

I actually enjoyed the book, but I also read it at a time while I was in the throws of being curled up on the bathroom floor trying to figure out my life so it gave me hope.

Ok not REALLY! But close!

As I reflect on it a more stable-ish time in my life...I remember only one thing: the part where she asks the saleslady in Italy if the clothes she bought made her look fat.