I had a feeling that before I even picked up this book that I wouldn’t like it, but I have heard a lot of commotion over it and thought I would see what all of the hype was about, albeit a bit late on the bandwagon. But not late enough, however, to pick this up for around $8 for the Kindle… it appears as though Amazon is likely capitalizing on the fact that this is now a major motion picture drawing more interest in the book itself.
If you read my review of The Choice Effect, you’ll also know that this book was mentioned in high acclaim by those authors, although it wasn’t their recommendation that piqued my curiosity. She had a few quotes in their book which I found grounded and intelligent. I decided I would listen to what Elizabeth Gilbert had to say about life, love and the pursuit of happiness. That’s not to say that I expected to agree with her about anything. And sure enough, I didn’t.
It’s true that she comes off rather selfish and whiny throughout the book. Whether you find empathy with her for this or not, you can at least say that she was honest and let even her not-so-good qualities come through. If anything, I felt that her search for “god” convicting in my own life — here is a woman who devoted a good bit of time searching for God. I believe she was searching in the wrong place, but not without a great effort on her part. What if I took the time she spent seeking God myself? The bible says to be still and know that He is God, how often do I do that? So in that sense, I connected with her journey and renewed my faith. I cannot, however, identify with what or who she claims is “god.” Nor do I find her ideas about Christianity, Jesus and the Bible to be at all accurate. As far as Catholicism goes, well, that’s another story. History does not particularly shed the Catholic church in a good light. I make no apologies for saying so.
I do believe that Elizabeth was sincere throughout the book. However, the book did not resonate with me as it has done for many others. I found it lacked a certain amount of depth. I actually had a hard time finishing it, almost didn’t. I put it down for a couple weeks during the Italy segment, and didn’t have much of a desire to pick it up again. It wasn’t riveting, it didn’t capture my imagination or “take me to another place.” All in all, it was rather disappointing and I was not very impressed. She describes herself as someone who just “wants more” or someone who “doesn’t have a quiet mind.” I guess I just don’t relate. Does not compute.
I can appreciate that we come from different walks of life and belief systems, and it was interesting to see inside someones mind for a brief time, but if anything just to remind myself that I am content just where I am, even though my life may not be fulfilling to her, it is for me, and that’s what counts.