So, I just had to read it.
First, because I watched the Elizabeth Gilbert TEDTalk on having a creative genius (see my previous post here) and she seemed like a fairly normal and down to earth person. Maybe the all black clothing should have given her away, but I wasn't really paying attention.
Second, the book has already appealed to millions of readers. And typically, when a large mass of people agree on something, its generally pretty good.
So, after a really great yoga practice, I thought since I was already in the yoga mood, I'd start on the book Eat, Pray, Love.
As for the writing, Elizabeth is clearly a good writer. The book hooked me in all the right places and I wanted to keep reading it! I thought, if an author can master that - you know they must be worth their salt.
On the flip side, while her frequent references to God and finding her spiritual path didn't bother me, I was so stunned that someone appearing so normal in the TEDTalk spent over a year spiralling out of control into a complete mental breakdown. Sometimes reading a certain chapter would exhaust me. When she's in New York sobbing on the bathroom floor in the middle of the night, or in Italy, breaking down in tears in her friends car when she was supposed to meet him for Italian/English lessons. Her constant pleading, brooding, flip-flopping about her love for David was pushing me over the edge. I was over David after the first 60 pages, and part of me still wonders if Elizabeth to this day is STILL thinking about him. The guy was poison and she clung to him like gum on a shoe.
It was interesting because I spent most of the book authentically interested in her journey, her funny anecdotal thoughts, and her experiences of different cultures. Yet, I spent the other half of the book wanting to shout at the author and tell her she's being an idiot for wasting her trip to Italy thinking about some guy. I seriously recommend she travel back to Italy because you can't really LOVE Italy when you're absorbed in thoughts about some totally broken and failed love affair that had no chance of working out from the beginning.
It was only near the end when I started to ease up on my criticism. She finally got out of her funk and was able to be her true self. It's given me the slightest temptation to read her next book, Committed, so I can forgive her for acting so crazy in Eat, Pray, Love.