Saturday, August 07, 2010

WoWO Book Club Meeting: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

On Wednesday was the July/August WoWO book club discussion of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I started Eat, Pray, Love in June on my own before it was chosen as the next WoWO, so I decided to review it personally while the book was still fresh in my mind. To see my personal comments/review about the book use this link. We had a full house this month and the WoWO's were back in true form. Our newest member, Rebecca, sadly couldn't be there but she read the book and added her comments, as a true book lover would. In honor of Elizabeth's journey in Italy, we made pizza's and drank wine and a little lemoncello! We had a ball and enjoyed every minute of it. As is normal for WoWO discussion posts, there will be spoilers.

Pub. Date: February 2006
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Format: Hardcover, 334pp
Genre: Non-Fiction
Coming to Theaters: August 13th, 2010

WoWO Rating: 3.60/5 Stars (9 ratings)
My Personal Rating: 4/5 Stars

Author Elizabeth Gilbert has been through an emotionally exhausting divorce and the breakup of a tumultuous love affair in a very short time period. After which she realizes, as most women do in relationships, she has lost her own identity and her own way in life. This realization leads her on a year long spiritual journey like no other that she shares with the reader along her way in Eat, Pray, Love. This memoir is written in three sections: Italy (Eat), India (Pray) and finally Indonesia (Love). With raw emotion and a window into her soul, Elizabeth Gilbert shares with the reader her amazing journey to spiritual self acceptance.

Almost Everyone loved the format of the book with 108 short chapters and 3 main sections (Eat, Pray, Love), most of us felt that this format made it easy to stay interested and helped the book flow quickly. One of us felt that the short chapters dampened the flow. We all felt like entertainment and pleasure were on the same level for American's. Music, Food and Art, can all be entertaining, and we can all find pleasure in these. We discussed Gilbert's life before her self discovering journey and felt that in her earlier relationships she wasn't happy with herself and she jumped too quickly into the arms of men, like a lot of us women. For most women, Men seem to fog our ability to make sound and reasonable decisions. We discussed everyone's "word", as in the book - Rome is "sex" and the Vatican's is "power" and Gilbert's is "achieve", Linda's is "compassionate", Faith's is "Angst", Karen is "sensitive", Rebecca's word is "scattered" and Myrta's is "sincere".

A few of us did relate to the spiritual aspects in the story but not everyone liked the spiritual elements in India, most keyed on the personal journey of self acceptance to be what they related to. We felt that her journey was less about persistence and more about perseverance: She didn't plan anything and she was also so she had to make her own way. I honestly didn't think about the fact that she's traveling and not having to worry about the money so persistence is necessary if she was to get her money's worth out of her trip. We felt that not everyone's spiritual journey is related to religion itself, but can still be spiritual in it's own way. We learned that Tricia is married to her soul mate (you sappy sweetie you) and she learned this while reading the book. The favorite section of the book for most of the group was Love (Indonesia) with 6 votes, second was Eat (India) with 3 votes (her descriptions of the food were incredible), and no one had Pray (India) as their favorite section. We appreciated it for what it was, but most felt that the details were a bit slow for reading.

Some of our favorite scenes where:
  • Pizza Trip in Bali
  • The trip with her girlfriend to Sicily
  • The Roof Scene (probably the favorite of all the scenes)
  • The initial sex scene with Felipe - we felt she earned it.
  • Any scene with Felipe
  • the banana talks with Wayan. HILARIOUS stuff.
Favorite Characters where:
  • Richard from Texas (he gave the best advice!)
  • Wayan (she was a hoot)
  • Ketut
  • Felipe
  • Gilbert herself
Favorite Quotes:
  • "Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be."
  • "The best way for a woman to get over a man is to get under another man"
  • "She's f---ing with you Groceries" - we just love that Richard calls her Groceries
  • "let your conscience be your guide"
  • "To find the balance you want, Ketut spoke through his translator, this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that its like you have four legs, instead of two. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way, you will know God."
  • “I have finally arrived at that age where a woman starts to question whether the wisest way to get over the loss of one beautiful brown-eyed young man is indeed to promptly invite another one into her bed.”
Everyone enjoyed the book for the most part, India was where everyone thought the book lulled but felt restored in the story when they got to Indonesia. If we were able to travel for a year, we would go all over the world: Italy, Ireland, California, Germany, Greece, China, Spain, a tour of Southern Europe, Australia. Everyone thought the cover of the book fit the story, 7 of us liked the original cover better and liked how the words were spelled in ways relevant to the locations. One of us liked the cover with Julia Roberts best. Six of us decided that we would probably like to read Committed and continue on with the story after Gilbert returns to America.

As usual we did something fun to incorporate our discussion with the book, here are some of the pictures:

Tricia, Louise, Lori, Linda, Faith(me), Karen, Myrta, Peggy

Food fit for Queens for the discussion

Myrta, Linda, me

Karen, Linda, Lori, Louise, Myrta

Tricia and Louise

Peggy and Me working on the dough.

Myrta and Lori making their pizzas

Om Namah Shivaya - We tried!

Lemoncello to top the night off!

If we are friends on facebook you can see the rest of the photos there. We had over 60 thanks to Tricia's photography Skills!

I handed out the next book "The Education of Mrs. Brimley" by Donna MacMeans, we are excited to read it and will be discussing it on September 10th.


  1. Faith,
    Your book club seems awesome. I would love to be a member of such a group. Glad you had a good time. Thanks for posting the pictures.

  2. Thanks Sari! I wish you lived close enough to join us!