Eating, Praying, and Loving Chick Lit during Finals Week

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The story begins with Liz Gilbert, a woman in her early thirties with a stable marriage and a successful career, kneeling on her bathroom floor, sobbing. This isn’t just a one-night thing. This has turned into an every-night thing. Her life, the life she had worked so hard to perfectly craft, was tumbling in around her.

“Imagine his surprise to discover that the happiest, most confident woman he’d ever met was actually- when you got her alone- a murky hole of bottomless grief.”

 

It’s hard to believe that this is a true story as we follow Gilbert on her amazing journey to change her life and most importantly, discover herself. She journals her experiences across Italy, India, and Indonesia on an adventure of food, religious awakening, and loving relationships.

Any book on a woman’s journey to change her life through such dramatic travel plans is bound to be interesting to read. However, it is Gilbert’s funny, subtle, untrying humor that separates this book from the rest of the dinky travel diaries, drawing in women everywhere.

In stark contrast to the miserable beginning of the book where Gilbert finds herself in the depths of depressing, the entirety of the read has a tone of hope. Yeah, that sounds super cheesy, but the whole time, Gilbert is led by the fact that she is getting better, that her life is changing for the better.

All in all, it’s a feel good book. It’s not super-fast paced. It’s not an action-adventure flick. It’s a loving book, comparable to watching a close female relative grow up and discover herself.

And while I don’t think I’ll ever have the gusto to go meditate for hours in an Indian Ashram or go visit a Balinese medicine man like Liz did, I have no problem admitting that I’m super hungry for some Italian pizza. Mmmm.

KEY WORDS: Thought-provoking, inspiring

It’s a book about discovering a person’s true self. Of course it’s going to be inspiring! This woman was brave enough to leave her cozy life and her stable marriage in search for something greater. It takes a lot of guts to do something like that. And all the religious talk, as mind-blowing as it is, is bound to make a person, whether she is religious or not, think about the possibility of a higher power. Or maybe she’s crazy. Who knows?

PERFECT FOR: Anyone who is super busy

It took me about a month to read, but during that month, there was the end of the grading period plus finals week. Reading this was kind of an oasis from calculus and physics and U.S. history. This book is split up into 108 mini-stories, or chapters if you will, so each part takes only a few minutes to read.

CRITIQUE OF THE MOVIE:

I had such high hopes! Julia Roberts + critically acclaimed novel = awesome movie? Nada. I was severely disappointed. The main issue was that they tried to squeeze every little detail of the memoir into the movie, which is 1) overwhelming for the viewers 2) confusing to the viewers who haven’t read the book 3) doesn’t leave a lot of room for good old character development, since the producers are too busy trying to take all the nit-picky details and shove it down the movie’s throat. Dislike, dislike, dislike. Julia did well though.

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