I was initially pulled in because the author starts her trek after a divorce when she discovers that she really doesn't want the life she has crafted for herself. Since that has happened to me a couple of times (divorce, life changing events, etc) I could totally relate. Gilbert's path of discovery/recovery however, is more interesting than most in that she takes a year off to kind of figure out who she is and what she really wants from life. Plus she does it through travel to exotic places. There is a secret little part of me that always dreamed of doing something crazy like this but I am too much of a wuss, as are most of us. Which is why we read I suppose.
The writing was a pleasant surprise for me as I had never heard of this author although I have since learned of her impressive credentials and awards. I found myself reading slower than normal so I could savor the words and her turn of phrase. She is really a brilliant writer, but it's more than that. Her self deprecating humor cracked me up; she is so neurotic it is hilarious. Plus she describes many situations she encounters with a terrific dry wit. I so wish I could tell stories in a similar manner.
All in all, the book made me want to write more. And travel more. And read more books by Elizabeth Gilbert.