Saturday, March 1, 2008

eat, pray, love review

***spoiler alert*** i don't talk much details about the book, just my feelings about it. i'm not going to ruin it for you and tell you that the book ends on an island with the survivors of oceanic 815. woooops!

this is my first book review ever, so be gentle. the classy ladies book club chose eat, pray, love for the month of february. we were supposed to join domestically challenged on feb 28th, but i didn't get my act together soon enough. check out her living room and the cake she started to make! so inviting.

okay, so.... here goes.

Let me just preface this whole entire review by saying I have never said so many good things or taken so much from one book as I have from this book. And I am normally not such a freak about books.

This book is so beautiful and personal. I am in awe that someone who has gone through such a dramatic and deeply personal journey was able to write it down in such perfectly presented meal. And it really was a meal. A beautiful meal with all the right appetizers, fingerfoods, drinks, seasonings, conversation, intellect, connectedness, humor, presentation, introspect, desserts and truth.

I envy her, that she was able to leave her humdrum life and expand her soul so greatly. And as much as I envy her, I thank her.

A meal. Really and truly. A good, satisfying meal with good people and hard to have conversations and introspections. That’s always the way I will classify this book.

Before I read this book, I read about it. I read reviews of this book, in the general term, glancing, not paying much attention, for the past couple of years. Eat,pray,love? A book about a woman traveling the world writing down recipes? Tasty tea, but not my cup.

And then I found myself wandering in a book store. With two books in either hand…. Stephen King’s latest? Or this one? This one was cheaper, Stephen was sure to scare. Cheaper…. To be scared. I opened the cheaper one toward the beginning…. To the page where she left Giovanni at her doorstep and pressed her forehead to the floor and prayed. Not a prayer of dear father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name… one of truth, of now, of something begging, hoping, something I would pray. And I identified.

So I turned to the first page. And I was hooked. The me a few years ago looking for answers, leaving a long term relationship identified with the first paragraph. I thought of my friends who are in various stages of relationships, and I identified for them, with them. In that first page. And from reading the passage about praying, and reading the short paragraph of love lost, I had to have it.

So I grabbed it. I grabbed it and devoured it with a pen and I dog-eared pages as I read, as I soaked it in. As I let her drag me (willingly) through
Italy, India, and Indonesia.

It’s a deeply personal journey. A friend of mine gave me the novel writer’s handbook for Christmas in 2006. I knew it held the key to writing a book. She has been pushing me forEVER to write a book. I knew that the second I cracked open this book that I would grab all pens, paper, and computers within reach and bleed myself dry. I wasn’t ready to do that yet, though. So I flipped through the book, aching to start the next great American novel, and put it down, meaning to get back to it.

Such is this book. If you let it. It’s so beautifully perfect, in all its flaws. Most of us won’t be able to spend a year traveling the globe. But her basic message is simple….eat, pray, and love.

Some of my favorite passages:
When she talks about happiness and beauty: “When you sense a faint potentiality for happiness after such dark times you must grab onto the ankles of that happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt…find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.”

God loves to feel things through our hands.

There was something about
Rome that didn’t belong to me. (I’ve felt this at different times in my life, in various relationships with friends, family, work, travels, outfits, shoes, social situations.)

You should never give yourself a chance to fall apart because when you do, it becomes a tendency and it happens over and over again.

The magnification of one life—is indeed an act of worth in this world.

..the universe is generous..

And most favorite, the last line in the book: “maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”

My most favorite part of the entire book is when she sits on top of the roof in
India and meditates under the stars. She brings all of the slights in her life, the good and the dirty, she brings them out in her mind’s eye and examines them, loves them, and lets them go.

I hope one day I am strong enough for that.

I had my first yoga class today. On my way home, I called my aunt, my dad’s sister. Sister of the famous uncle john. She’s been doing yoga for over 30 years. I told her, and she told me she loved it, that she’s done it forever. I remember her when I was five or six… she was staying with us, visiting. I woke up one morning and she was sitting in our living room. it all looked funny to me. She looked cold. So I took my favorite blanket and wrapped it around her shoulders. She didn’t move. Was she sleeping? Was she sick? My mom explained that she was meditating. Whatever that was.

S
o I told my aunt that I was taking yoga. She said very wisely and simply, “Oh, sounds like you’re on a path.”

Indeed.

2 comments:

Jo said...

Great quotes and you're so right, it hooked me from the first page, too. There is something visceral about this book that is so satisfying, just like a great meal! I just love how she all out lives life. And did you notice how it was all written in the present tense? I really liked that about it, it drew you in...

Domestically Challenged said...

Bravo Yo!

Thrilled to be classy - although domestically challenged with the nuts!!

I feel as you do about EPL - it was a terrific feast!
Hen