In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want–husband, country home, successful career–but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she felt consumed by panic and confusion. This wise and rapturous book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success, and of what she found in their place. Following a divorce and a crushing depression, Gilbert set out to examine three different aspects of her nature, set against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.
Not keen on her definition of God, or Christian for that matter, but she is a good writer, and despite her shallow understanding of Christianity, I am enjoying her journey of self discovery so far.
UPDATE: Not so keen on her India section – she seems to take a rather superior attitude about her approach to spirituality, which is quite off-putting.
I QUIT! The only reason this book doesn’t get one star is because I enjoyed the Italy section. Her self absorption was tempered by the focus on food and friends, which was enjoyable. However, moving into India, she became so focused on herself and her “higher” state of enlightenment that it truly overshadowed anything rewarding about the setting. I found her overblown sense of self-importance so off-putting that I quit. Blech. No more for me.