Most overrated book.
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Hands down this is the most overrated book for me. I read the book back in 2008 and talked about it here.
Then (and now) I can’t fault Gilbert’s writing; she is an excellent wordsmith. The thing I couldn’t quite understand about the book was its call-to-arms. Woman seemed to suddenly, in droves, re-examine their lives like Gilbert’s own search for self was somehow attainable for the average Jane. I said at the time:
Lots of people wish they could stop their hectic, horrible, messy, complicated, screwed up lives in order to find their deeper purpose; in order to mend their broken hearts and psyches, in order examine their place in the world, their connection to the people with whom they share the planet…and their relationship with a higher power (God, in Gilbert’s case, although she says “I could just as easily use the words Jehovah, Allah, Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu or Zeus.”) Not everyone has the means. Plus, although Gilbert’s journey was preceded by a divorce, she has no children. Trust me, I’d love four child-free months in Italy, too.
I don’t think Gilbert was really suggesting that we all take a year off in search of balance. That’s hardly possible for the general population. Yet, somehow, Eat, Pray, Love was held up as this example of what it means to search for (and ultimately find) peace in life, in love, in your higher power. I’m no cynic, but come on. I have no doubt that Eat, Pray, Love made a ton of money and allowed Gilbert to continue her quest for self-awareness and as I said in my original review, I enjoyed Gilbert’s journey but the book’s ability to guide me to my own center was a bit of a bust.