Yeah, yeah, everyone else has reviewed this already, but I figured I'd put a review up before I got around to reviewing Committed, which I recently read.
I don't recall why the hell I read this, because when I heard about it at the time I thought, "Why the fuck would anyone want to go off to an ashram in India? Holier-than-thou plus BORING." But somehow I read it and it wasn't. Go figure.
You should know this already, but just in case: Liz Gilbert was a writer, known for writing books about manly men and having a lot of relationships. She hit 30, 30 hit back, her husband wanted babies now...and Liz figured out that um, actually, she didn't. And since that's the Ultimate Dealbreaker Of Life, she knew that would end the marriage. So she goes through hell, husband is unbelievably pissed at her for not having babies/divorcing, divorce drags out for years, she loses her money, etc. She also gets involved with another dude that she's very obsessed with, but soon enough that relationship hits the rocks too.
But she does get the idea (and pitches it as a book deal so she has the money to do it, and since she's written books before she gets one) to bugger off out of the country for a year. Four months in Italy to stuff her face and take life easy and take Italian lessons and generally recover from the hell, then four months in India at an ashram to study meditation and whatnot, and then four months in Indonesia to reunite with this old holy man guy she met there ages ago who predicted that one day she'd come back and study with him.
And that's about how the plot goes, with some unexpectedness here and there. Ashram life is not easy, sitting her arse down to do it in the style they want her to is not her favorite thing ever, figuring out whether or not she should be dead silent or her usual chatty self is confusing, and she meets an infamous friend who tells her some interesting things. And then there's Bali, where much to her surprise, she meets an older man, gets romantically involved, and there's a happy ending. (I strongly suspect that had that not happened IRL, this book might not have been the hit that it is. Well, everyone loves one of those, after all. But hey, even life comes out like fiction sometimes.)
The thing that makes this book awesome is that while Liz is spiritual, she's also questioning, and she goes back and forth about what she believes, and snarks on herself, and generally writes in an entertaining tone that you can relate to, even if you're like me and have zero interest in ashrams. She's NOT holier-than-thou by ANY means, even if other than her marital drama/post-marital drama period, she seems like one lucky duck in general. You can get what she's talking about and relate to it.
So, four stars from me. It's good even if you aren't into this sort of thing.