Monday, February 8, 2010
I know you must be wondering why have I chosen to review this book even though the second book 'Committed' by the author is already out in the stores and is a sequel to the book I review today.I thought this review could help the person who hasn't read the first book get an idea of what the book is all about!
Let me start by saying that this book has been a bestseller, loved and adored by millions of women worldwide.A movie is also in the making based on this book by Elizabeth Gilbert.
The book has been translated into over thirty languages, with over 7 million copies sold worldwide.The book became so popular that, in 2008, Time Magazine named Elizabeth as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Unfortunately the book did not work for me...rather didn't enjoy reading it too much.(I am very certain I would be among a very few handful women out there who didn't enjoy the book!)
The book is in Elizabeth's words One woman's search for everything .This book is her story and how after going through a tough time after a divorce she plans to take a break from work and go on a journey of self-discovery. The journey takes her through Italy,India and finally Indonesia.The entire journey helps her in putting her past to rest and moving on... to finally managing to find love.
Her journey begins from Rome,Italy.After her divorce from David she takes up Italian classes to learn the language and after a few months lands up quitting her job,her house and takes off to Rome where her only agenda is to learn to speak Italian fluently and of course EAT!So starts her stay in Italy where she meets interesting people like Luca Spaghetti,Giovanni who is her tandem exchange partner and his twin Dario.What Italy helps her do is gain weight while also helping her learn to speak the language more fluently!In her words 'I will leave Italy noticeably bigger than when I arrived here'...She discovers quaint eating places which serve the best pizzas and pastas.She manages to cover Bologna,Florence,Venice,Sicily,Sardinia,Naples and Calbria.Phew!The stay in Italy is her first step in healing though not totally out of her depression and loneliness after the divorce!This journey she call her pursuit of pleasure.I wish I could also do something like this take a break and go on an exotic Italy trip ,meet Italian mamma's boys ...but more importantly not to lose perspective here... eating food!! Dreams!Sigh!
Her next journey is to India and her step two in the healing process i.e. PRAY.She comes to India to spend time at her spiritual guru's ashram which is located in Maharashtra.Everyone in the ashram is given work to do and Elizabeth's first work assignment is to scrub the floors of the temple!The usual day starts at 3 am and could last up to 9 pm regularly.Hours are spent in meditation and contemplation so its not just rigorous physically but also psychologically.Initially she finds it very difficult to concentrate while meditating but with the help of Corella her room partner she trains her mind to concentrate on the mantra she is chanting.Slowly and steadily she manages to succeed.Her stay in India she calls as her pursuit of devotion.This is also the part from which I stopped enjoying the book as I felt it became a bit too preachy for my liking.
After India she heads to Bali in Indonesia where she finds LOVE again.Her trip to Indonesia is to meet a man called Ketut who is a ninth generation medicine man,she had met him on a prior work related trip to Indonesia.Ketut had on that trip asked her to return to Indonesia to teach him English and he in turn would teach her everything he knows...hence choice of Bali as her final destination
During her stay in Bali she becomes friends with Wayan who is a Balinese healer and how she helps Wayan buy a house for herself and her daughter Tutti.She also meets Felipe ,a Brazilian man who loves and adores her with "such single minded concentration".The book ends on a very positive note that you cant help but feel a part of Elizabeth's happiness.There are no strings attached in their love story but she promises to keep in touch with Felipe before leaving for New York....
Again in this part too I felt a bit let down because it just tends to drag into her personal issues,problems and delves a bit too much into Wayan's story.
I hear that in the sequel she ends up marrying Felipe...So I am pretty certain the book would have a lots of apprehensions,plots, indecisiveness.Not too sure if I'd want to read it!