Eat, Pray, Love, Converse

I know every book group in the nation has already discussed Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. One of mine got around to it yesterday and we were all surprised by how much we enjoyed it, including the sole male attendee.
Of course, everyone immediately went off the discussion topic script so handily provided by the publisher. This group has their own agenda, including pondering aloud what the first draft of this best-seller must have looked like. More than one reader wondered what might have been left out of the story.

Don felt the experiences might have been exaggerated. He also addressed one question to the group (all women) in a serious, respectful manner. Don wanted to know how realistic Elizabeth’s reaction to her breakup with boyfriend David was. To a woman, all said, “YES!”

The topic that brought about the most thoughtful discussion was the amount of personal change Elizabeth experienced in each country. At first glance most of the readers felt that the greatest changes happened in India. But after a little more consideration, most felt that Italy was the site of the most changes experienced by the author. One reader said, “This is the place where she put herself back together. That is not easy to do. Gilbert had to rebuild her sense of self and learn to live with herself again. Piecing together a broken heart and shattered spirit are no simple tasks. Italy deserves all the credit.”

These comments made us all look at the first chapter with new perspective. It would be very easy to dismiss this chapter as an adventure in physical pleasures, but the group decided there was much more to it than that.

Everyone also decided to start planning trips overseas since Elizabeth made it sound so exciting. Hey! Book group sabbatical to Europe!



About the Author:

Kaite Mediatore Stover refuses to give up her day job as director of readers' services for The Kansas City Public Library to read tarot cards professionally or be the merch girl/roadie for her husband's numerous bands. Follow her on Twitter at @MarianLiberryan.

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