One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
by Elizabeth Gilbert
I have jumped on the bandwagon, late as usual, but after hearing about the upcoming movie based on this book, I decided I wanted to read it.
I really enjoyed book. I think Elizabeth Gilbert is a very honest and unashamed writer, which makes her words all the more accessible. I willingly lived vicariously through her. There is also a great sense of calm about this book, once you get into it; it's a comfort to read.
The book really gave me the urge to travel. I want to go to Greece, but I've heard they're not too friendly with tourists. For now I'll have to settle with visiting Seattle for a month in July (I'm attending the Tallis Scholars Summer School, which I could not be more excited about! Although, who knows how much of the city I'll actually have time to explore...).
But I didn't come to any dramatic self-realizations while reading this book. I didn't feel the need to drop everything and suddenly go on a spiritual journey. Instead, it reaffirmed how I currently feel. I know who I am and what makes me happy. I guess I haven't had enough time in the "real world" to lose my sense of self yet, and I never plan to. For me, at this time in my life, I didn't find the book to be hugely relatable; maybe I'm a little young yet to truly appreciate it.
I am decidedly somewhat un-American because I fully embrace the Italian concept of bel far niente (the beauty of doing nothing). I have for most of my young life. My mother calls this being lazy. But I think there's a lot to be said for taking the time to enjoy a little nothing.
Occasionally while reading I found myself thinking, Well good for you. You get to experience all these wonderful things that I don't have the opportunity to. Or is that take the opportunity to?
Anyway, there were parts I liked and parts I did not like about the book. I really liked Italy, India was very interesting, but got a little too spiritual for me to grasp (transcendence during meditation: I can't yet relate to or quite understand that), and I thoroughly enjoyed Indonesia. Originally I thought I liked Italy the best, but there were some truly fantastic stories from her time in Indonesia which I found pretty compelling. Other readers will probably get more out of this book than I did, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.