Home as the land you till and harvest. Home as the village you slave for and acquire a reputation in. Home as your culture, your parents, many individuals all finding their own unique home in one location. Home as viewed from far, far away across a vast ocean.
But home as yourself? Despite our forays into Indian culture, a popular country identified with that sort of spiritual unity, those devoting themselves to understanding themselves and their place in the universe were few and far between, and those who saw this as being home were nonexistent. Yet for Elizabeth Gilbert, a home without a thorough understanding of herself was impossible.
What truly makes this tale of a woman’s search for her home memorable is the way she speaks from the heart. References to pop culture, denials of exaggeration – these things and more let Liz speak to us as though we were old friends meeting for a really long time in a coffee shop after we hadn’t seen each other for years. One line stands out in particular that portrays Liz’s genuineness perfectly: “Truthfully I’m not the best traveler in the world.” This is a confession of the soul that, while light compared to her tales of her separation and divorce and 9/11, is a personal revelation which speaks volumes because despite her love for travel she is unafraid to reveal her shortcomings, something a person can only do when they have the humility and self-esteem to do so. She never holds back with her language, being open and honest when discussing her traits, her relationships, or her wants and needs as a human being. Nothing is left to the imagination, and everything is laid bare; however, this does not detract from the imagination of the reader. Rather this lets the reader focus on the meaning of Liz’s words in the grander scheme of things instead of preoccupying oneself with “hidden meanings” and veiled inferences. Liz speaks honesty honestly.