I decided to read this book after watching Elizabeth Gilbert's TED talk a couple of times. I found her funny, engaging, intelligent, and insightful. And I found the book to be delightful from start to finish. She's got a very charming way of befriending the reader. She's honest about difficult things, and she's really funny. I laughed out loud a lot while reading this book. I also laughed in recognition at many of her insights about life.
I loved how she approached all the people in the story with a lot of respect, whether they were seekers of knowledge in an Indian Ashram, or peasants in Indonesia, or chic fashionable jet-setters. You get the feeling that if you met her at a party, you could become really good friends right away. I'm glad things seemed to work out so well for her. Just as in her TED talk, she talks about religion, prayer, and God in ways that are disarming, humble, and not at all annoying, which is hard. Her way of acknowledging and describing the role of the divine in her life isn't so jarring to modern scientific sensibilities as most. She isn't at all goody-two-shoes, which is refreshing.
I loved her insights about women and feminism, that we need to take over the functions of protection and discernment for ourselves that were in former times in patriarchal society performed by fathers, brothers, or husbands. Rather than just throw ourselves into the world with heedless abandon, as she had done when younger.
Much of the book was just a whole lot of fun, when she traveled and experienced other cultures and food, and made friends with such an interesting assortment of folks. I would have loved to take such a trip. She would be a fun and fascinating person to hang out with, I think.
A lovely quick read that I think most anyone would enjoy, about one woman's search for something-or-other which she seems to have found.