I'm writing my first review because I'm appalled that I nearly didn't order this because of some weak reviews on this site, but my friend's persistent recommendation won me over--fortunately!
Gilbert's book is an intimate look at one person's struggle not to answer life's questions but to put herself on her own journey towards answering them. This true story also bears great universal truths. She wrestles with problems that eventually plague most of us, turning for help to the profound but colorful people she meets along her way, from a teenager in India to a Bali guru (aged somewhere between 77 and 102) to Luca Spaghetti, whose name is no less amusing than his comments.
Gilbert manages to weave in striking metaphors that light up her text. Her description of being visited one night by the personifications of loneliness and sadness, harrassing her like film noir police detectives, is alone worth the price of the book.
The spiritual philosophies Gilbert learns are sprinkled throughout her story without weighing it down but adding a profound dimension that will have you mulling them over long after, and perhaps even incorporating into your own world view.
I'm buying 3 copies for friends and recommending it to everyone else. One friend even sent it to someone she knows in England who's undergoing cancer treatment because I've been so enthusiastic about it.
My big problem is that here in Jerusalem we're waiting for it to be translated--when's that going to happen?
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