I fell in love with Rome and the Italian language just by her story telling. There are many feelings that roamed her mind that I can relate to, the doubts, the uncertainties and the vulnerability. Yet I admire the way she was able to do exactly what she did. Of course one must have the resources, but one must also have that inner push which she had to help the outer push (her 'divine' experience) propel her forward.
There's a lot of truth about the subject of religion as relayed by Lizz without putting a label on it, it's almost identifiable in all the religions that are out there (most of them).
I could feel her tumult at the beginning and I could sense the gradual diminishing of it during her stay in Bali.
It isn't about romance or companionship or performing duty or charity or morality, it is about finding an inner peace in the mind that means contentment, it's about reaching down to your very core, seeing it clearly and being aware of it.
You learn a fair bit of history and about places in Rome. Italy and Bali, not so much for India.
Strangely in India, she managed to escape being touched by the extreme poverty and conditions in spite of staying there for such a length of time. It 's not so much the outside world that converts her so much as her own realization of all the turmoil that is inside herself.
I have not quite defined it yet, exactly what she attained, but it is halfway to wisdom and contentment.
Is there more power in her prayer, I'm not so sure about that, there may be something to it, after all it is the power of the 'enlightened' mind in clear communication with a higher power.
What you experience as the reader, is her journey - moving from troubled to contentment-, of Elizabeth rescuing herself, reaching down deep and pulling herself out of darkness and into the light. Finding peace has been expressed a few different times and in many ways (by different persons), simply 'let go'.
I enjoyed her wit and style of writing which was mostly very direct. Even in expressing her thoughts there was very little mincing of words.
One of the many statements I liked, the privilege of being human is that we have hands...."That's our privilege. That's the joy of a mortal body. And that's why God needs us. Because God loves to feel things through our hands." .. and that is food for thought.
I will probably read this again soon.
(PS : I just read an update on her website .. so sad, I liked what I read of him, Richard of Texas has passed away)