fiction · Uncategorized

Eat Pray Love Review

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I first came across Eat Pray Love when a friend of mine recommended it to me. It is Elizabeth Gilbert first best selling spiritual memoir. where she explores her divorce with her husband, and long-term partner, which then paved the desire for taking the courageous journey on the road to self-discovery.

Liz was thirty one when her marriage and prosperous lifestyle crashed head first with a grueling divorce, followed by a passionate and then not-so-passionate love affair with a guy called David, that ended up in bitterness. Liz snaps up the opportunity to fly to Bali to write a story about yoga vacations. There she comes across other influential characters: one is a ninth- generation Indonesian medicine man, and the other, Felipe, her new love. Eat Pray Love covers Liz’s travels to Italy, India, and Bali. She decides to dedicate a year of her life eating whatever she wants, meditating and finding out who she really is without any pressure to find a man to make her happy. Liz’s publisher who was eager to see how Liz could transfer her experiences abroad into writing and hence Eat Pray Love was born.

It’s hard not to like Liz. She narrates her story and her well-developed voice throughout the memoir allows me to really get a good understanding of her as a character. Basing the memoir on herself also heightened my interest in the book as it’s always nice to find out more about the writer behind the work. With a prominent voice, it’s as if she’s sitting beside you, telling her experiences to you.

Not many writers can develop their narratives as effectively to make the reader feel that way. Liz doesn’t shy away from expressing the good, the bad, the ugly and the happiest moments. I think a writer that focuses their work on themselves is courageous to reveal a part of their life for the world to read and critique.

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The novel has a clear structure: Italy – thirty-six tales about the pursuit of pleasure, India – thirty-six tales about the pursuit of devotion and then Bali – thirty-six tales about the pursuit of balance.

What I liked most about Eat Pray Love was the simplicity of being able to love yourself for all that you are, and all that you aren’t. Which, I must admit, is not always an easy thing to do! Yet by following Liz through her journey of accepting and forgiving herself for her divorce, for all the bad relationships, for all the mistakes; it’s refreshing to see a woman put her desires and needs first instead of a man’s. And that taught me a thing or two too about where I stand with relationships.

Ironically, Liz does find love towards the end of the novel, which makes me happy for her, though this happens once she has learnt about herself and she had recovered from the guilt from the past, and has healed from her divorce.

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I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to be inspired about life, love in general, loving yourself and looking within to find the answers.

2014 · fiction · Hachette · Sphere

The Kabul Beauty School Review

https://allthingsbooksweb.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/kabul-beauty-school-book-review-all-things-books-blog-front-page-img_1424.jpg?w=663I’ve always been a little intrigued by Afghan women, especially during the time of the Taliban. The Kabul Beauty School took me into a whole new culture and world where women have very different roles and almost every aspect of their lives dramatically changed when the Taliban took over the nation. The triumphs of Afghan women under the strict Taliban regime fascinates me and reminds me that anything in this world is possible, even for women.

Deborah Rodriguez, a hairdresser and mother of two from Michigan went to Afghanistan to offer humanitarian aid to the war-torn country. When she arrived, she was surrounded y men and women whose skills as doctors, nurses and therapists – seemed more practical than her own, and so she felt of little use, though eager to help make a difference. Having been acquainted with some of the locals, she soon found she had a gift for befriending Afghans, and once her profession became known, she was sought out by Westerners and by Afghan women for a good haircut. Afghan women have a long and proud tradition of running their own beauty salons, thus the idea of opening up a beauty school was born.

https://allthingsbooksweb.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/the-kabul-beauty-school-book-review-pics-all-things-books-blog-img_1426.jpg?w=663 Rodriquez yearned to make a difference despite struggling with the language barrier, overstepping cultural customs and constantly juggling the challenged of a postwar nation, she began to empower Afghan women by teaching them fundamental beauty techniques that would allow them to become their families’ breadwinners.

It was lovely to see that the Afghan women that Rodriguez started teaching, took a profound liking to her and would share their stories, and their hearts: the newlyweds who faked her virginity on her wedding night, the twelve-year-old bride sold into marriage to pay for her families debts, the Taliban member’s wife who pursued her training despite her husband’s constant physical abuse.

The Kabul Beauty School is a tale of an extraordinary community of women who come together to learn the arts of beauty, friendship and freedom. It touched my heart and was a pleasant read.

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The Kabul Beauty School was published by Sphere, which is an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group.

Deborah Rodriguez also wrote The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul.