WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
This book is so popular that it is almost impossible to not read it. Having felt ashamed many times on my not having read this book, I quietly ordered the book (before I saw the movie) from amazon.in and sat down to read it. I don’t remember what I expected it to be – maybe more like a chick lit thing but it turned out quite different. The book is a real story and is a short journal from the time when its writer went travelling to three different countries in pursuit of three different things – Italy (Pleasure), India (Spirituality), Bali (Balance) and this is what corresponds to the book’s name – EAT (in Italy), PRAY (in India) and LOVE (in Bali, Indonesia). These are also the three Is – ITALY, INDIA, INDONESIA.
Though she had everything a middle aged American woman can aspire for – MONEY, CAREER, FRIENDS, HUSBAND; Elizabeth was not happy in her life, she wasn’t happy in her marriage. Having suffered a terrible divorce and terrible breakup soon after, Elizabeth was shattered. She didn’t know where to go and what to do – all she knew was that she wanted to run away. So she set out on a weird adventure – she will go to three countries in a year and see if she can find out what she was looking for in life. This book is about that life changing journey that she takes for one whole year.
The book is very beautifully divided into three phases, each one dedicated to a single country. I love the way she has written exactly 36 chapters (or tales as she calls them) on each country. I also loved the way she has enjoyed each country the way she did. I have always wanted to go to Italy, but having read this book I have fallen in love with Italy and everything Italian. That little tale about how she went to a discreet little rundown place in Naples and discovered the world’s best pizza in those dingy lanes is indeed adventure inspiring and after reading that you just want to do the same thing right then and there.
I also loved the tales of her stay in India. Of how she came close to spirituality and God. She doesn’t fool you saying it’s really easy to seek the divine and become spiritual. Instead she very candidly talks about her own hardships in being able to do so. And this is the only reason that I have rated the book most in the candidness department. But no matter how hard her stint at the ashram was, her book is full of life and vigour, of hardships and adventure and that is what I liked most about it. It is like a journal and yet somewhat like a novel. It is both entertaining and inspiring.
Her stints at the ashram in India, at learning Italian, at finding love and helping a poor woman in Bali are all full of experiences and thrill. For me there were only a few dull moments but that can easily be overlooked. I therefore rate this book three and a half star out of five stars and recommend it to all my soul searching and travel loving readers.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy from the link below.