Plot: The author and narrator, Liz Gilbert is on a yearlong trip to Italy, where she will learn Italian and experience pleasure, India, where she will stay at an ashram and learn to be close to God, and Indonesia, where she hopes to find balance in her life. She has recently suffered a bad divorce and is heartbroken over the relationship that followed it and with an advance on the book she will write as she travels, she hopes to regain some of herself as she eats in Italy, prays in India, and loves in Indonesia.
Why I liked it: The idea of taking a year off to focus on yourself and do the things you’ve always wanted to do is inspiring and certainly thought provoking: What are the things I want to do just for me? What would I do with a year dedicated to myself? The information Gilbert provides about yoga and meditation was interesting to me since those are unknowns for me. Since I listened to this on audio, I sometimes found myself zoning out when Gilbert shared lengthy, spiritual moments. My favorite “character” from Gilbert’s travels is “Richard from Texas,” who she meets at the ashram from India. Richard from Texas delivers hilarious lines and is always telling it like it is at the moments Gilbert needs to hear it most.
Classroom application: While I would not use this as a mentor text because of its religious segments, it would be a good pick for students who enjoy memoirs or are interested in travel and different cultures.