I've been wanting to read this book for awhile. But, for whatever reason, I always found something else to buy at the bookstore. So, Russ and I went to Half Price last week and I found this book on clearance for THREE DOLLARS - I mean, that's nothing! I bought it and finished it about thirty minutes ago. The Good: I love - love - Elizabeth Gilbert's writing style. Did I say I love it? Because really - it's spectacular. She makes writing seem effortless, this book is such an easy read, and not in a mind-numbing way. I feel, with the plethora of books I have waiting for me to read over these next couple of months, I couldn't have started the year with a better companion. Essentially, this book is about setting out and finding a new beginning amidst a failed marriage and deep depression. I felt as though I traveled with her - gorging myself on pasta in Rome and sweating through the prayers at her ashram and meeting her friends in Bali. This book reminded me of how a good piece of writing can be your friend.
The Bad: As much as I love her writing, I struggled with the first section of the book. While I do commend her for refusing to drag her ex-husband's name through the mud by stating his indiscretions, it made me fail to empathize with her. Because, I can't imagine NOT wanting to be married. I can't imagine NOT wanting kids (one day). And, I find it hard to pull out respect for a woman who just leaves because she's...unhappy. Call me crazy.
Regardless of the beginning - regardless of her bringing herself into this horrible, disgusting, repulsive state of complete obsession with the man she turned to after her marriage collapsed - her journey was absolutely mesmerizing.
Am I happy I read it? Absolutely. Will I read it again? Probably. Do I recommend it? Yep. Just be prepared for the pity fest at the beginning. (It IS a memoir, after all.)
What's the next book? A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. Color me excited. :)