Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year 2010 - Eat Pray Love, A Novel by Elizabeth Gilbert

In 2010 I have promised myself to write book reviews for this blog, in honor of Don Emblen and Readers Rejoinder. I quite miss his musings on literature, grammar, love and life. So I start with this great autobiographical book by Elizabeth Gilbert. It was #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list for months. Written in 2006, it takes you on a very personal journey with brilliant discoveries and insights concerning the nature of love, self respect, spiritual enlightening and overall living well.

The book is divided into three sections each with 36 tales totally 108 stories that represent the number of beads on a mala, the prayer bead string used in India and Buddhist practice. The meaning of 108 is quite profound, as it's a perfect three-digit multiple of three adding up to nine, which is three threes; three being the number representing the Holy Trinity in many religious philosophies. So, to achieve this the book starts with Italy, thus Eat. Then to India, Pray; and Bali, in Indonesia, for Love. Her adventure begins with the divorce of her longtime husband which leaves her vulnerable, insecure and guilty. The progression through her changes from this very precarious state to her reinvention of self in the final chapter makes one smile, cry, burst out laughing, then contemplate one's own perspective of life.

Everyone should read this book for the sheer adventure of the journey, the depiction of three different cultures, and the joy of discovery. Excellent page turner. Elizabeth also did a talk for TED. You can see that HERE.