Book Review: Eat Pray Love – by Elizabeth Gilbert

For Book Club Meeting: Saturday, 5th December 2009.
Venue: Ms. Saroj Thapa’s residence. Time: 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

I would begin to insert my review on Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, eat pray love – One Woman’s Search for Everything (that’s what it says on the cover’s front), by stating: It’s huge to be searching for everything; everything is not that simple, and that definitely includes our lives! Whatever Gilbert has gone through, most of us go through, perhaps, by other kinds of duels. In the space between our victories and defeats – life can sometimes become like a non-stop mischievous act; here, there can be no confusion that any reader was everybody to understand that position – I mean, the author’s position and condition. One can share her pain, but still, with steps of privilege: Gilbert could move away from the deep crater of her sorrows, which was New York; quit her job, definitely surge towards newer worlds. My point is – She is one woman who already has got quite a lot… including her immediate family offering her great soul-support.

Moving on, with an increasing complexity, I was both drawn and withdrawn by the thoroughly ‘American-American’: Gilbert. In the later chapters I got used to her Americanism. (which naturally is encapsulating the lady from end to end.) Sometimes, I got so close to the character, that I found myself justifying some of her mad vitality. Correspondingly, I can also say that Gilbert’s lifestyle, way of thinking and reacting, in greater parts could never influence me. And this has nothing to do with the age-factor. If I were returning to my mid-thirties, I still would not even dream of reliving the way the lady chose to live. My statement here is not to be misunderstood. I am not putting a leash of restrain on the author’s emotions or freedom, by any means. I think, it has something to do with two different worlds of culture; no matter how far our basic experiences of life take us to, most of us keep returning to our beliefs, our roots – which are our private scenes of awareness – importantly never leaving us.

I could say about: eat pray love, for me the book was a mixture of success, some froth, some enjoyment. A nudge from anybody could be enough for my interest to read the sequel – Committed, which will describe Gilbert’s new-found love and relationship with Felipe, the Brazilian-born man of Australian citizenship in his mid-fifties.

On the lightest note, a few one-liners on – Marriage. Married. Life.

1. Marriage is not a lottery. In a lottery you have a chance.
2. Marriage is not a word, it is a sentence.
3. Darling is the wife’s maiden name.
4. Life is like a shower. One wrong turn and you are in hot water.

Geeta Chhabra

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