The resting place of the mind is the heart. The only thing the mind hears all day is clanging bells and noise and argument, and all it wants is quietude. The only place the mind will ever find peace is inside the silence of the heart. That’s where you need to go.
From Krista’s Perspective:
This book is one woman’s brave expression of the journey she undertook to find her true happiness; to find that resting place where your mind can find peace. It is more than just a journey, it is a battle. Elizabeth Gilbert writes honestly of her struggles, her shortcomings, her failures and that is why I say it is a brave expression; not everyone would want to share that with the world. I was given this book back in 2009 by my aunt before I moved to Costa Rica for my own search for one’s self. It got lost in the shuffle and remained unread until fairly recently and until it received fame as a blockbuster movie. I’ve still not seen the movie but the constant promotions for it reminded me that I needed to dig it out and crack its cover. I was concerned that yet again this would be a book that has received more attention than it was worth, one that makes you question how a producer felt inclined to make into a movie, but it was an enjoyable read that entertained and inspired.
Her writing style is simplistic, honest, and genuine which is exactly the way this story needed to be written. It covers her journey to Italy and her quest for food, to India and her quest for spirituality, and finally to Bali and her quest for love. Eating, praying, and loving; three appetites we all seek to satisfy in one way or another. Gilbert captures her journey with words that are both eloquent and realistic which allows the reader to relate and sympathize with her. She truly captures the difficulty of making the decision to give up everything to start over fresh. I found it easy to relate to her as someone who was willing to sacrifice their home, family, and friends in hopes of finding one’s true happiness.
Gilbert wrote, “When you sense a faint potentiality for happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt – this is not selfishness, but obligation. You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.”; this passage took my breath away. I think it is so easy for all of us to forget that we were all given lives to live and that happiness should be strived for. In my own life I have recently learned that life is too short to stay in jobs we don’t like, live in cities we despise, remain in relationships that aren’t satisfying. We become so accustomed to our lives and fear change but this book shows us that its OK to sacrifice everything and start over. The book cannot be taken literally in that we all need to divorce our husbands, cash in all our money, and move to three separate countries searching for the perfect pasta, the best way to meditate, and romance on the beach but it does inspire us that change can happen and it can be OK.
This book describes Gilbert’s integration into three different cultures and learning to live the way they lived. She writes that it is a journey of discovery where she wanted to reveal all aspects of herself and that she wanted to “explore the art of pleasure in Italy, the art of devotion in India, and the art of balancing the two in Indonesia”. The book is a lesson on how to realize different qualities about yourself and finding what works for you then sticking with it in a balanced way. If you are looking for an inspirational read that is also entertaining and enjoyable then this is the book for you.
Plot – 4 out of 5
Writing/Style/Form – 4 out of 5
Characters – 4 out of 5 (more of a personal anecdote so this isn’t terribly applicable to this book)
Enjoyment/Entertainment Value – 4 0ut of 5
Overall Score – 16 out of 20