Thursday, March 13

Book Review


I finally finished Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love. The reviews of this book are pretty much 50/50--love it or hate it. I can't committ to either side. If you would have asked me when I was halfway through I would have said YES, absolutely LOVE it. There were parts I was disappointed with, like the ending. But I have to say the best parts made up for all the not-so-great parts.
There were parts in particular that I found brilliant.
One is when she's describing her depression and lonlieness, as it hits her even when she's in beautiful Rome:

"Depression and Loneliness track me down after about 10 days in Italy….They come upon me all silent and menacing like detectives, and they flank me. Depression on my left, Loneliness on my right. They don’t need to show me their badges, I know these guys very well. We’ve been playing a cat-and-mouse game for years now, though I admit I am surprised to meet then in this elegant Italian garden at dusk. This is no place they belong.
I say to them, “How did you find me here? Who told you I had come to Rome?”
Depression, always the wise guy, says, “What, you’re not happy to see us?”
“Go away”, I tell them.
Loneliness, the more sensitive cop says, “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I might have to tail you the whole time you’re traveling. It’s my assignment.”
“I’d really rather you didn’t” I tell him.
He shrugs, almost apologetically, but only moves closer. Then, they frisk me. They empty my pockets of any joy I had been carrying there.
Depression even confiscates my identity, but he always does that.
The Loneliness starts interrogating me, which I dread, because it always goes on for hours. He is polite, but relentless, and he always trips me up eventually.
He asked if I have any reason to be happy, that I know of.
He asks why I am all by myself tonight, yet again.
He asks, though we’ve been through this line of questions hundreds of times already, why I can’t keep relationships going…
He asks why exactly I think I deserve a vacation when I’ve made such a rubble of my life.
He asks why I think running away to Italy like a college kid will make me happy.
He asks where I think I’ll end up in my old age if I keep living this way.

I walk back home, hoping to shake them, but they keep following me, these two goons. Depression has a firm hand on my shoulder and Loneliness follows close behind me with his interrogation. I don’t even bother eating dinner; I don’t want them watching me. I don’t want to let them up the stairs to my apartment either, but I know Depression, and there’s no stopping him from coming in if he decides that he wants to.
“It’s not fair for you to come here” I tell Depression, “I paid you off already. I served my time back in New York.”
But he just gives me that dark smile, settles into my favorite chair, puts his feet on my table, and lights a cigar, filling the air with his awful smoke. Loneliness watches and sighs, then climbs into my bed and pulls the covers over himself, fully clothed, shoes and all.
He’s going to make me sleep with him again tonight, I just know it.

5 comments:

drifter's escape said...

hi anna =)

i loved the book...but have to admit that i was a bit disappointed with ending as well.

lauratiu said...

Wow, a moving description of how depression affects some people. It makes me sad when joy can be stolen so easily.

Sarah said...

I have GOT to finish this book.

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jodi said...

the bane of my existence described by someone else who has lived it...