Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It by Elizabeth GilbertEat Pray Love Made Me Do It by Elizabeth Gilbert, Various

Published by Penguin Publishing Group on March 29th 2016
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Motivational & Inspirational, Personal Memoirs, Self-Help
Pages: 240
Format: eBook
Source: Bought for Myself
Goodreads
one-half-stars

Click here to buy the book from AmazonBooktopiaBook DepositoryAngus and Robertson
True stories inspired by one of the most iconic, beloved, bestselling books of our time   In the ten years since its electrifying debut, Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love has become a worldwide phenomenon, empowering millions of readers to set out on paths they never thought possible, in search of their own best selves. Here, in this candid and captivating collection, nearly fifty of those readers--people as diverse in their experiences as they are in age and background--share their stories. The journeys they recount are transformative--sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, but always deeply inspiring. Eat Pray Love helped one writer to embrace motherhood, another to come to terms with the loss of her mother, and yet another to find peace with not wanting to become a mother at all. One writer, reeling from a difficult divorce, finds new love overseas; another, a lifelong caregiver, is inspired to take an annual road trip, solo. A man leaves seminary, embraces his sexual identity, and forges a new relationship with God. A woman goes to divinity school and grapples with doubt and belief. One writer's search for the perfect pizza leads her to New Zealand and off-the-grid homesteading, while another, in overcoming an eating disorder, redefines her relationship not only with food but with herself. Some writers face down devastating illness and crippling fears, and others step out of their old lives to fulfill long-held dreams of singing, acting, writing, teaching, and learning. Entertaining and enlightening, Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It is a celebration for fans old and new. What will Eat Pray Love make you do?

Eat Prey Love Made Me Do It is a compilation of almost fifty stories by people who did more than just imagine what it would be like to live like Elizabeth Gilbert (EG). They used the memoir as inspiration and after reading Eat Pray Love (EPL) took steps to change their lives.

I liked the concept of this book but for me this book just missed the mark. The stories aren’t very long. Each one is only a couple of pages which for the most part isn’t enough time for me to feel vested in their lives. And there is a distinct feeling that most of these woman (all the authors were female except for two – one of which wrote a story which confused me incredibly) were not merely inspired by Liz but wanted to be her.

I understand that in order to be happy, there is a need to nourish ones body, mind and soul. But I don’t believe that travelling overseas, indulging in eastern religion and becoming yoga enthusiasts is the only way to do it. So many of these stories seemed to be penned by people who though of EG as some kind of deity and had her up on a pedestal. Referring to your copy of EPL as your bible and following her path exactly probably isn’t the best way to happiness.

There was a sense in some of these stories that the authors were using this compilation as a way to help them to published authordom. Some of the anecdotes felt like the writer merely inserted some EG and EPL name dropping to make them more appropriate for the book and wonder just how much the Eat Pray Love philosophy really featured in their journey.

I liked the stories who took EG’s Eat Pray Love message to mean they needed to achieve balance physically, mentally and emotionally. The ones who took it too literally and actually followed in EG’s footsteps just seemed like deranged fangirls. I loved the ones who found themselves on their own path and were inspired by the fundamental principles. They already knew something needed to change to achieve happiness.

EPL seems like a beacon of hope to women who don’t want the planned out career, marriage, kids and white picket existence. In fact – this book seems to be full of stories of people who had all that, read EPL and realised that there was more to life. The book showed them they were allowed to want something different because EG did and she emerged out the other side as a happier, emotionally healthier person. In many ways what EPL gave these readers wasn’t inspiration but rather PERMISSION to not want the life society tells them they should strive for.

There is some variety over the course of this book. You get stories from the passionate devotes who bow before the EPL alter, and those who weren’t immediately sucked into Liz’s life-transformation story. They were the people who flipped over the pray section and scoffed at the love but came around in the end. There’s a broad range in ages from teenager to elderly but for the most part these stories were written by 40-ish women living in North America. It wasn’t as broad a cross-section as the blurb might suggest but I do think it is these women in Liz’s demographic who were probably most moved by her story.

People who loved Eat Pray Love will probably love the intro to this book by Liz and find kindred spirits in the stories which follow.

The themes of achieving joy and feeling empowered which resonates through many of these stories and I think its amazing that these writers found happiness for themselves. I also thought the cover was gorgeous… I kind of want a cake like that. And it seems like ashrams everywhere have Liz to thank for increasing their numbers.

Ultimately this wasn’t my kind of book. It was a little too in love with Elizabeth Gilbert. But I did enjoy some of the stories especially the following quote:

“Eat Pray Love did not make me bigger, better, more. Some days reality is all too real. Some days I can be impatient. I fret intermittently over my square toes. The difference is, nowadays I can live with myself.”

 

2 Comments

  1. I really enjoyed reading this book a few years ago. I also liked the movie a lot. I have talked with a LOT of people though who have different reactions. I think maybe younger women might not get what inspired the book. Maybe. It might be the kind of story you have to have gone through something to appreciate.
    Either way, great post.
    Runwright Reads recently posted…Light up the dark My Profile

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