Eat, Pray, Love is a story chronicling two years of the life of a recently divorced woman who was on a mission to – excuse the cliché – find herself. We travel with Liz through the tough year when she is pulled through the trenches of the divorce through to the year she decides to spend in Italy, India and Indonesia.
This is my second time reading this book, and as I was rather young the first time, I took so much more from it this time around. There were many parts of the story I didn’t even remember reading the first time! The main message I took from EPL is the importance of being unapologetically you, through and through. There is one part where Liz decides to take on a vow of silence while at the Ashram in India, as she wants to seem ethereal. She recognises that she is a very sociable person and instead of seeing the benefits and positives in this trait, she strives to be something else. This plan is quickly thrown off its tracks and she realises that she shouldn’t be trying to force herself to be someone she is not. It is fine to admire other people and their personalities but to actively try to force yourself to emulate them instead of finding your own strengths will only lead you to be unhappy and false.
I have recently recognised this desire in myself. I often see the way other people handle certain situations and wish I could do the same. It’s usually to do with the confidence they possess, which I lack. But with the help of my mentor and life lessons I am realising the benefits of doing things in my own way. 2+2 = 4 but 3+1 = 4. There are different ways of doing things but one is not necessarily better than the other.
EPL is a very descriptive account of Liz’s experiences in these three very different countries; it almost reads as a travel guide. I finished the book longing to go to all three places, which may have been her intention. However, it did also make me very aware of how easy it is to read someone’s account of something and want to experience the exact same things. Almost like a fairy tale for adults. But if I take a year off from life and go to Italy, India and Indonesia it won’t be the same for me. I won’t have the same encounters, experience or come away with the same feelings. It’s interesting just how many factors are in play determining what your day looks like.
As much as I enjoy this book I did not like the ending. Throughout the story is very realistic showing the ups and downs of her life, but the ending read like a fairy tale, as if someone told Elizabeth that she needed to add a happy ending in order for the book to be well received. Yes it showed balance and yes I wanted the character to find love but it seemed slightly rushed. It did not leave me wanting to know what happens next in her journey as the entire journey seemed to end instead of just her time in Bali.