Thursday, August 25, 2016

Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It: Life Journeys Inspired by the Bestselling Memoir

I may be one of the few women in America that haven't read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I think I started it, but never finished it.  I actually watched the movie and formed a horrible crush on Javier Bardem.  Most of my reluctance to read the book stems from that old bookstore danger:  getting so sick of everyone asking for the same book, over and over, for months at a time.  I end up loathing any mention of the book and never wanting to read it.  I think that's what happened with Eat, Pray, Love. So years passed, and I never read it.

I knew the basic story, and at any other time I would have read the book right away.  And I did really enjoy the movie.  Cut to years later, and I see this book somewhere in my bookish wanderings.  I immediately checked it out of the library, and proceeded to dive in and be amazed at some of the stories people have shared.  

This non-fiction book is a collection of essays by various men and women (mostly women) who read Eat, Pray, Love  sometime in the past 10 years and had such a visceral reaction to it they changed their lives.  For some, like Elizabeth, it was a wake up call to leave an unhappy marriage or relationship; for others it was a reminder that life can and should be joyful and creative.  If we find ourselves stuck, we need to get moving.  For other women, it was about coping with motherhood and finding balance.  

One woman says "From Liz, I learned that it is never too late to start again.  I forgave myself my indiscretions and granted myself the permission to create the life I now understood I deserved."  Liz's story resonated with so many women that I was a bit floored by how her journey became the spark women needed to change their lives into more meaningful, peaceful, and vibrant quests.  

There wasn't one essay in this compilation that wasn't touching and amazing to me.  I can't imagine how Liz Gilbert feels knowing she's influenced so many people simply by telling her story.  It is a prime example that we never know who we will touch just by being open with the good and the bad in our lives.  

I think this would make an obvious choice for anyone who loved Eat, Pray, Love.  But you don't have to read that to feel the impact of these essays.  It will probably drive you to read Liz's memoir after you've turned the last page.  Powerful stuff.

Rating:  7/10 for so many touching essays about the power of one woman's journey of discovery to give courage, grace, and peace to those who struggle through life.  

Available in paperback, audio, and e-book.

1 comment :

  1. I know what you mean when EVERYONE seems to be reading a certain book. It makes me turn away too. I read Eat Pray Love for a reading group back when it was a bestseller and I can tell you, there were such differences of reaction to it that it actually broke up the group. Bet the author would not want to know that! But I can see how it would have helped women trapped in some bad situation to do something about it. I liked Eat Pray Love quite a lot. I think you could safely read it now. It goes a bit deeper than the movie, because well, it is a book!