Eat Pray Love: Tutti Steals Elizabeth’s Heart

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Eat Pray Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

Like this article? Sign up for a free trial here.

Who is Eat Pray Love‘s Tutti? How did Tutti impact Elizabeth Gilbert’s life?

Eat Pray Love‘s Tutti is an important character. Tutti is the daughter of a local medicine woman, Wayan. Elizabeth vowed to help the two of them and experienced joy and heartbreak in the process.

Read more about Eat Pray Love, Tutti, and how she impacted Elizabeth Gilbert’s life.

Eat Pray Love: Tutti and Wayan

Wayan had been married to an abusive alcoholic who beat her severely. If not for her healing powers, she likely would have suffered permanent physical damage. When she miscarried her second child after a beating, she left him. In Balinese customs, all generations of families live in compounds, like Ketut’s. If you divorce, you must leave the compound and are set adrift with no resources or connections. If you are a woman, you automatically lose custody of your children. 

Wayan sold all her possessions and used her savings to hire a lawyer. After two years of fighting, she was granted custody of her small daughter, Tutti. The two moved often to search for new business, but they were happy to be together. In Eat Pray Love, Tutti and her mother’s story moved Elizabeth deeply.

Gilbert fell in love with both Wayan and 8-year-old Tutti right away. She felt a strong powerful sensation from Wayan that infected her own energy. She changed her daily routine to now include visits with Wayan. Wayan was sassy and quick-witted, and she could tell Gilbert hadn’t had sex in a long time. She said she would go to the temple and pray for Gilbert to find a lover. In Eat Pray Love, Tutti and Wayan would quickly become family.

Chapter 7: A Future Comes Into View

Gilbert was given a reprieve from her dismal thoughts when she arrived at Wayan’s shop the morning after the party. Wayan had received word that her lease was up in a few months and the rent would be raised. She’d have to move again, but she didn’t have any money or anywhere to go. And she’d have to take Tutti out of school again. Each move jeopardized the little girl’s chances of going to university to study veterinary medicine like she wanted. 

What made matters worse were two orphans Wayan had taken in not long before. The two girls, both barely adolescents, had been trafficked street hustlers. They’d been under the thumb of an adult who made them beg and then took the money. Wayan found them starving and brought them home. She took care of them like they were her own. This act of compassion by a poor single mother was more than Gilbert could believe. She was in awe. 

Gilbert noticed in Eat Pray Love that Tutti was walking around the store with a small piece of blue tile in her hand. She chanted over it and sat on it in a corner for a long time. Wayan explained that Tutti had found the tile outside a hotel construction site. She brought it home and prayed that she and her family could have a beautiful tiled floor like that someday. 

Gilbert left the shop and went to the Internet cafe. She composed a message to her friends and family at home. Her birthday was coming up, and she told them that if she were home, she would have thrown some expensive party. They would have bought her expensive gifts. It would have been quite the scene. This year, she asked them to spend their money a different way. 

At the end of the week, she’d raised $18,000, which was more than enough to build a house for Wayan’s family. A friend pointed out to Gilbert that Tutti meant “everybody” in Italian. Gilbert couldn’t believe she’d missed it. She’d set out into the world to help herself and wound up helping everybody.

In Eat Pray Love, Tutti clearly changes Elizabeth for the better. She sets out to help Tutti and Wayan, but is shocked at what comes next.

Eat Pray Love: Tutti Steals Elizabeth’s Heart

———End of Preview———

Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat Pray Love" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Eat Pray Love summary:

  • Why Elizabeth Gilbert needed to divorce her husband
  • How she was able to find joy again in Italy
  • How Gilbert was able to find balance with Felipe

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *