It S Am And Elizabeth Gilbert Is Sobbing On The Bathroom Floor She S In Her Thirties, She Has A Husband, A House, They Re Trying For A Baby And She Doesn T Want Any Of It A Bitter Divorce And A Turbulent Love Affair Later, She Emerges Battered And Bewildered And Realises It Is Time To Pursue Her Own Journey In Search Of Three Things She Has Been Missing Pleasure, Devotion And Balance So She Travels To Rome, Where She Learns Italian From Handsome, Brown Eyed Identical Twins And Gains Twenty Five Pounds, An Ashram In India, Where She Finds That Enlightenment Entails Getting Up In The Middle Of The Night To Scrub The Temple Floor, And Bali Where A Toothless Medicine Man Of Indeterminate Age Offers Her A New Path To Peace Simply Sit Still And Smile And Slowly Happiness Begins To Creep Up On Her I read this as part of a book club and having seen the film a while back, I thought I would really like it Unfortunately I really struggled and didn t even finish it which is unusual for me I found the narrator whiny and irritating and there was just too much detail and history about all the places which I felt took away from any actual story. I saw this book as offering a taste of different cultures and a little hopefully perhaps a path to happiness.Through Gilberts descriptions thoughts I felt you did get a good insight into Italian, Indian and Balinese culture.It is a memoir though not a guide book so a lot of that insight is gained intuitively through the re telling of her experiences.A bit of a spiritual sceptic I wasn t sold at first on the first religious aspect of the book.I then picked up on how Liz seemed to create her own religion taking aspects that worked for her and leaving behind those that didn t from the different experiences Showing that maybe you have to find your own way to happiness but you can still take tips from others.Critics claim the book is self indulgent I feel everyone needs to take time for themselves to be able to give to others.I think that s what the authors done here Not only enriching the lives of the people she met but also touching readers too I was particularly warmed by how it is possible for people from different cultures to embrace each other and get along. I ve never seen the film and had a sense of cringe about the book knowing nothing about it at all Why I ll say it was the universe biding her time until it was right for me to read this You could come away depressed, thinking of the times you could have door as Liz did and change before life took over Or you can be inspired, an find positive, bold ways to keep being you I want my girls to read this in their teens Happy for Liz Thanks to her all in her story for sharing something so personal and so wonderful. I can understand why this book was successful particularly with such an intriguing title I loved the concept I loved the first section in Italy and its focus on food and placesright up my street of interests I was not taken with the middle section as for me far too detailed and almost obsessive to the point where I had to keep skipping sections to retain my own sanity I was hoping to enjoy the final section which I thankfully did but again found the authors obsessive detail not really my own preference I was glad when I reached the end I have given this 4 stars as I think it is worthy of that from those who value such introspective detail but it is not a style for me. Like many others I had my reservations about this book a pretty, blonde white girl is given a free pass to chuck her first world issues She gets to travel for a year all expenses paid by her editor in exchange for a book about her said travel year I quote Scrooge from A Christmas Carol or Scrooge McDuck from Ducktales depending on your taste Bah, Humbug But as It turns out, this book is pretty awesome Gilbert is disillusioned with life and disappointed in love, she travels to the three I s Italy where she eats, India where she prays and Indonesia Bali where she finds love.It s as simple and yet as momentous as that You ll either read it and chuck it across the room or read it and come away with something profound for yourself Liz is a gifted writer, I have ear marked, highlighted and underlined the heck outta this book.I suspect many would secretly love to do exactly what Liz did I would , but cannot due to commitments, responsibilities and budget constraints.That s perhaps why there are so many bad reviews, I get that, I understand But maybe instead of reading it with your defences already up, try reading it like it s fiction Be open minded and give it a go.