As the “Eat, Pray, Love” frenzy reaches a feverish pitch with Friday’s movie release starring Julia Roberts as Liz, I decided to pull out my copy of the book.  Full of turned corners and highlights, I skimmed through and remembered why I both loved it and hated it.

I connected with Liz and her journey having experienced many of the same struggles (to have children or not, failed marriage, tough divorce, search for oneself). Looking back, it was a very cathartic read.  And boy was I jealous of her … taking this amazing year to explore herself in Italy, India and Indonesia and writing about it. And then I was annoyed with her…as you learn on page 35, her publisher bought the book before she even left?!  This wasn’t a total accidental adventure… it was a bit staged. But in spite of my issues, I read it, enjoyed it, want to see the movie.  May even read the book again.

I don’t think however I’ll be buying all the themed products that are bursting into stores with the movie release. Companies have gone mad, like a Disney movie, creating “Eat, Pray Love” jewelry (Dogeared Jewels & Gifts), lip glosses (Lancome), fragrances (Fresh), candles and creams.  Cost Plus World Market created a dedicated shop with furniture, food and clothing. And this weekend HSN has a 72-hour themed sell-a-thon including 20 of their partners and brands…Friday focuses on Italy and “Eat”, Saturday on India and “Pray”, Sunday on Indonesia and “Love”.

Whether you read the book, see the movie or buy the products, as the book cover says “Eat, Pray, Love” “is about what can happen when you claim responsibility for your own contentment.  It is also about the adventures that can transpire when a woman stops trying to live in imitation of society’s ideals.”  Something many of us can relate to and aspire to.