While I have been busy raising my children and working, I let my first real love, reading, slip by the wayside.  As a result, I am just reading some books that I know most of you read 5 years ago!  One of those books that I am guessing many of you have already read is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Of course, I was well aware of all the hype when the movie came out a few years ago, but it was just in the perifery of my busy life.  Still, when I decided to read 24 books in 2013, this was my first choice to start the year with, and I was not disappointed.

For those of you who haven’t read this book and are just as behind the times as I am, here is the brief storyline:  Elizabeth Gilbert goes through a very bitter divorce and decides to travel abroad for a year to heal her broken spirit.  She travels to Italy for 4 months to learn Italian (and eat a lot of yummy food), then she goes to India for 4 months to study meditation, and finally she goes to Bali for 4 months to learn to merge her passion and her spiritual devotion together so they can coexist.

I enjoyed this story immensely.

Italy

When Liz was in Italy, I enjoyed reading about her love of the Italian language as well as her immense, unabashed love of the food.  And because I am such a neurotic traveler who must research everything before I take a trip, I marveled at her ability to just pack up and go with no plan and no research.

Also, I am shy by nature and not good at making friends.  If I took a journey like she did, it would probably be a very lonely one because I just don’t spontaneously make friends.  Reading how vicarious she is and how easily she makes friends impressed me.

India

Truly, though, my favorite section of the book was when she went to India.  I was raised Catholic, and we still go to church and even send our son to Catholic school, but my faith is never as strong and as deep as I would like it.

As I get older and grapple with my own mortality as well as the mortality of those around me, I find myself wishing I could have stronger faith.  Liz, too, has this issue.  Yet, by the end of her journey in India, she has fought through and become a deeply spiritual person.  This new found spirituality also makes her a much more content, happy individual.

I was so impressed by her journey that I am considering picking up meditation again.  (I practiced it a bit when I was in my early 20s.)  I think it would be good for me not only physically but also spiritually.

Bali

Finally, Liz goes to Bali where her lack of planning is brazen.  She arrives to spend time with a healer she met two years ago, but when she arrives in the country, she doesn’t even know if he is alive or where he lives exactly.  Of course, she finds him, and for half of this section it looks like she will have a low key way to end her journey until she falls in love.

I’ll be honest, the section where she falls in love seemed just to contrived to me until I did some research and found that she actually married the man she fell in love with and wrote a follow up book to Eat, Pray, Love called Committed, which I just may have to add to my reading list for this year.  🙂

This book had the ability to carry me away while I was reading, so it was enjoyable, but it also touched me in the ways that it related to my own life.

On the Mom’s Plans scale (newly created, of course!) I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.  ****

I shared this post at Booking It.

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