Sunday, November 21, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love

Despite my joining of certain social networking sites, I have a love/hate relationship with certain cultural trends.  If it's incredibly popular, I'm generally suspicious. 

They selected this book for my book club before much information was known about the movie.  I was understandably skeptical.

I found I liked this book much more than I thought I would.  I agreed with Julie Ann's comments about personal growth here

Two things resonated with me.  The first was what she said about not wanting to be married any longer - about not being happy.  Many people have criticized the book, they said that the author was selfish and whiny. 

Honestly, I think it's pretty remarkable to admit that a person is not happy, and wants to change.  Not everyone is willing to do that.  Not everyone is willing to acknowledge they're in pain, and to take steps to change that, whatever the cost.

I don't think that's whiny, I think that's being realistic.  Not that happiness is the only answer and motivation.  But I believe each person has only one life, and it is much to short to live in misery.  Is it really necessary to get a book advance and travel around the world?  Probably not.  But admitting that a person isn't (you aren't) happy, and taking steps to change is a good thing, to my mind.  If there are things that can change, that you can change - I think it's a good thing to work towards that.

The second thing I admired was that she didn't give all the reasons for her divorce.  I thought that was pretty remarkable as well. Often people will go through all the reasons for a relationship ending, detailed reasons.  Sometimes it's to convince other people that their decisions were justified.  In the end, does it really matter? In the end, we really only need to know that a relationship was not healthy, and not working. 

And in the end, I appreciated what she said about not really thinking about her relationship before she entered into her marriage. While she loved her ex-husband, she wasn't really thinking of goals, ways for each person to support themselves.  What each person brought to the marriage.  It's decidedly unromantic.  But honestly, I think that message needs to be sent more.  Love is great, but life isn't a hollywood romance.  It's just not.  It takes a lot of work to support and understand yourself, not to mention another person.

PS.  So I recommend this book to just about anyone. For my atheist, agnostic and non- religious friends, there is a lot of prayer in the prayer section.  So that's a caution or warning.  But if you're able to look past that, there may be some parts of the book that a person could find useful.  The idea of spending time meditating, in India, was attractive to me.  I'm not sure why, it's just always been attractive.  But that's just me personally, and may not be attractive to other people.Granted, it may also be the traveling aspect - as I have very little desire to spend three months meditating here in the midwest.  So take that as you will.

PPS.  When I was reading this book and looking for reviews, I saw this response by Andrew Gottlieb.  I thought it looked pretty amusing, and I couldn't help chuckling whenever I thought about the concept.

1 comment:

Freckle Face Girl said...

Great comments! I have been avoiding this book & movie even though I know I will enjoy. I tend to get wrapped up in dreams of oversea travels that lead to a crazy scheming for a trip and then to mild depression when I can't go. This book is on my list when I have at least somewhat of a chance to appreciate it because my life is a little more where I’d like it to be.