i LOVE this book!
This is a wonderful and funny autobiography of one woman’s journey to mend her broken heart and find faith. i love the honesty with which she writes; she doesn’t skip the ugly parts which makes the beautiful parts even brighter.
She lived in three different countries, Italy, India and Indonesia, within the span of a year on this heart journey and goes through a period of plenty, restrain and then it all comes together in the third period.
‘ “To find the balance you want… … this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it’s 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.” ‘
That was what the Indonesian medicine man told her, even before she knew she needed this journey and i feel the whole book is about her, making her heart whole again and using it to see the world around her, yet not floating away into the clouds.
There are so many things i really like about her writing – like how she makes her depression and loneliness into ruffians who corner her. i like reading all the Italian words she likes and learns. i enjoy her descriptions of amazing food she ate in Italian. i so identify with the way she speaks to the her brain. Reading her book is like listening to a good friend tell you her life story.
Here are some of my favourite quotes from the book:
‘ “Our whole business therefore in this life,” wrote Saint Augustine, rather Yogically, “is to restore to health the eye of the heart whereby God may be seen.” ‘
‘ There’s a reason they call God a presence – because God is right here, right now. In the present is the only place to find Him, and now is the only time. ‘
‘ He sits down across from me and drawls, “Man, they got mosquitoes ’round this place big enough to rape a chicken.” Ladies and Gentlemen, Richard from Texas has arrived. ‘
‘ Look for God, suggests my Guru. Look for God like a man with his head on fire looks for water. ‘
‘ To mediate, only you must smile. Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clean away dirty energy. Even smile in your liver. ‘
In the end, she found her man, waiting for her in Bali, where she also found balance and was even able to help a divorced medicine woman and her little girls build a home.
Here is, in my opinion, the over-the-top romantic line of the book:
‘ “Darling, I’m southern Brazilian. I can keep a broken heart going for ten years over a woman I never even kissed.” ‘
And i just had to agree with this:
‘ To feel physically comfortable with someone else’s body is not a decision you can make. It has very little to do with how two people think or act or even look. The mysterious magnet is either there, buried somewhere behind the sternum, or it is not. ‘
At the end of this book, there is a chapter of her next book, Committed , the next part of her story. i read that short extract and can not wait to read the whole story.
Have you read other Elizabeth Gilbert’s books? If yes, which ones and do you recommend them? And if you have not read her books before (like me), i suggest starting with this one.