(Fyi, I've also posted this review on Facebook.)
A Review on "Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia) By Elizabeth Gilbert
I admit, getting through this book was something of a struggle. It's about a woman coming to grips with the unraveling of a marriage she doesn't want to be in, nor the dysfunctional relationship she entered immediately following her marriage. Luckily she was able to bankroll her travels through Italy, India and Indonesia with the advance for this book.
I was certain I'd enjoy the first part, where Gilbert travels to Italy, but it was extremely difficult, to the point where I nearly gave up on the book. Even considering what she was going through, I thought she was so weak-minded, and foolish at times (I mean on a superficial level, c'mon, not visiting any museums while she's in Italy???) I said I would force myself to get to when she arrives at the Ashram in India, and that's where, thankfully, it gets interesting, but not so much because of her, but the other people she meets that force her to step out of herself. Like Richard from Texas, or the religious tomboy, Tulsi.
But I would say the best is saved for last, when Gilbert arrives in Indonesia, revisiting a silly, eccentric medicine doctor, Ketut, she'd met a few years earlier on her travels in Indonesia, when she was writing a piece on yoga. Ketut is a wonderful, wise inspiration in her life, the first in a string of colorful people she befriends there-Yudhi, a Christian 'dude' from Indonesia who is indefinitely separated from his wife (who he was living the American dream with in NJ) shortly after 9/11 thanks to Bush's implementation of the Patriot Act; Wayan, another kind of exotic, sexy medicine doctor of sorts who uses food and spa like treatments to help her clients that has a wicked smart daughter named Tutti and is in need of a permanent residence; and Felipe, the gentle, Brazilian, who ends Gilbert's dry spell.
Stick around to learn some interesting factoids about all the different cultures, like how the Balinese won't allow babies to touch the ground for the first six months of their lives because they are perceived as gods; how "Ham-Sa" in Sanskit (a simple meditation which can be uttered when one simply inhales, exhales) means "I am that", or the Italian term for crossing over, "attraversiamo."