Gilbert finds herself praying on her bathroom floor one night, realising that she needs to discover herself outside of her marriage. Somehow this compels her to take a year-long trip to the three ‘I’s (Italy, India and Indonesia), where coincidentally she happens to go through the three transactions that make up the book’s title. Throughout the year Gilbert is faced with both serious and hilarious situations, all of which she explains to the reader as being both the end and the beginning to a new chapter in her life.
Of course there has been a backlash to the book, such as the parody Drink Play F@#k: One Man’s Search for Anything across Ireland, Las Vegas and Thailand. To add to this, numerous critics have branded Gilbert as self-indulgent and silly.
However, despite the parody and the criticism, Elizabeth Gilbert has managed to capture the heart of over seven million readers and her work has been translated into over thirty different languages. Oprah Winfery praised the book for its positive representation of female empowerment and spiritual discovery. It just goes to show that, for some of us, there will always be something appealing about the idea of throwing in the towel and starting all over again.