Saturday, March 03, 2007

March 2007: Eat, Pray, Love

Every story of finding one’s self starts with a quest. It’s enmeshed in all great tales from the sacred – Moses’ search in the desert – to the secular – Luke in “Star Wars.” The outer journey mirrors the inner journey; it is as if placing one foot in front of another helps one delve deeper into the heart, mind and soul.

When faced with a devastating divorce and a life that just wasn’t working, author Elizabeth Gilbert decided to plunge into new possibilities. The book, “Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia” is Gilbert’s bold pursuit for herself; it is also Charlotte Weekly’s book pick for March.

After trying unsuccessfully to conceive, Gilbert realized that there was a huge chasm between the idyllic life she fantasized about and the reality she lived. Following a divorce, she decided to trek to foreign lands where she hoped to be imbued by each chosen city’s unique offering to salve her soul. She chooses Rome to teach her about pleasure, Mumbai (formerly Bombay) to inspire her spiritual longings, and Bali to find balance.

What makes the book sing is Gilbert’s fresh voice, which transcends the “somebody done somebody wrong song” tone which self-help books can sometimes take, and vaults it into true introspective territory. During the yearlong journey, Gilbert learns about herself, and her quest may even inspire readers to begin a journey, even if from the safety of an armchair.

Gilbert is an accomplished writer and memoirist. Her story for GQ magazine about her early bartending days was made into the movie “Coyote Ugly” and it appears that lightning has struck twice: In November, Paramount Pictures announced plans to turn “Eat, Pray, Love” into a movie starring Julia Roberts.

Join CW’s book club as we meet to discuss “Eat, Pray, Love” on Monday, Mar. 19, at 7 p.m., at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in SouthPark. R.S.V.P by visiting

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