As one marriage-doubter to another, this book is a beautifully woven historical retrospective, blended with modernity, that certainly makes for a very thought-provoking and inner-turmoil-balancing conversation about the personal and social impacts of marriage and non-marriage.
Liz called the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, not based on secular and religious politics, but rather from the study of society's pattern of societal protectionism. As illogical as that may sway. It is ironic how the original Christian community was against marriage as one could not achieve Christlikeness while married, yet today the Bible is being used as the basis for why some should be "allowed" to marry. AND marriage is only deemed legal, because it can only be authorized and recognized by the state, NOT the Church of any religion.
Liz, (which is what the author calls herself - I'm not taking familiar Liberty here), also beautiful job of layering humanity next to honor next to legal obligation next to multi-generational/cultural personal experiences to show that this endeavor is ever-evolving and thus there is no singular answer about what "marriage is."
This book has not convinced me to marry. That ultimately will depend on the person I choose to join me on that path, but I know this, that person, if they exist, will add another level of fabulous-ness to my life and will certainly need to be a silently strong man with a good sense of humor. 😉
Way too analytical and academic. I expected more of a first-person account of dealing with the journey of marriage, not "the history of marriage." I couldn't make it past the chapter on historical basis of marriage in the early church.
No. I still love EG.
The intro was very interesting and compelling, and was more what I expected. I was taken off-guard (not in a good way) when the book delved into the history of marriage. I turned it off.
Committed bills itself as a book about a skeptic making peace with marriage, but what's lost in that subtitle is the fascinating, in-depth look at the history of marriage and its role in both Eastern and Western societies and cultures. Gilbert is forced to marry her sweetheart if he is ever to be allowed back in the US, and this is the story of her research into the various meanings of marriage in an effort to somehow be okay with being married again. It's a personal, historical and cultural exploration of the ways people do and do not embrace the institution. Lots of fascinating details and you can't beat a story being told by its author.
Elizabeth George does a great job of laying out all her research on marriage that went into her own decision. Plus she is a very professional reader of her own books.
I feel indebted somehow as EPL was the first book I'd read and then had seen in movie version. Of course the book was better than the movie and I finally understood what that meant. I had to find out what happened next as her story with Felipe had to continue.
I love how she states going from exotic country to country as some might speak of going from store to store in a mall. Fly over to Cambodia for a few days? :)
I feel she also painted a respectful picture of the ex spouses and I hope they also see it that way should they choose to seek out this fabulous book.
Bravo, Liz!! :)
I doubt the subject & the research which went into this book will be everyones cup of tea, but it is filled with thoughts & experiences that many can relate to. I initially doubted it would be of much interest to me but I enjoyed her last book, so I took a chance! I give it high marks for a couple of reasons: 1st because I enjoy Elizabeth's style of writing. She sounds authentic & devotes an earnest thoughtfulness to the subject matter within her books. The 2nd reason I enjoyed it is: I've had similar life-experiences & very similar thoughts about those experiences so it was nice to be reminded I wasn't so alone in feeling the way I did regarding, divorce, commitment, remarriage & children. So... for what it is worth, & for better or worse, that's my review.
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This book initially caught my ear because I found Elizabeth's voice in the audio sample really soothing and wanted to hear more. The book is about the struggles of a modern woman's ideas of matrimony, and philosophical questions of what does a marriage and a good husband make. Yes, it's a very personal book, but since I recently got married myself, it spoke to me on a lot of levels. I've gone through the same musings and thoughts myself and given that the entire wedding industry is built around how magical and happy everything is supposed to be, it was good to hear that I'm not alone in being skeptical and afraid about entering marriage (despite my husband being anything a girl could ever wish for).
I wasn't the biggest fan of Eat, Pray, Love - and whether or not that was the case for you - please do not let that stop you from picking up this book if you are thinking about marriage or are already married. This was a wonderful listen, with just the right amount of history and research about the Institution (marriage that is) and personal anecdotes sprinkled throughout. Fascinating was Gilbert's discovery of a book called Subversion (chapter 7), a rather interesting text that claims marriage is actually revolution on a micro level - that while the ruling class has been trying to control the individual, they have never been able to control the almost universal impulse to cohabitate in pairs and get married. What goes on in the marital bed, the secret pillow talks, the shared intimacy, the privacy of a relationship - all of these are threats to those that want to control. This decision to choose one person, above all others, to share your life with is a personal revolution that will on some level, said or unsaid, upset family, friends, and anyone else with an agenda against you. This CONCEPT is revolutionary, and really appealed to the rebel within. And perhaps, for someone like me who never much liked the Institution in the first place, is just the kind of thing I needed to hear.
That being said, there's plenty said in the book against marriage - particularly for women. Less happiness, lower life expectancy, and if you happened to live in the 19th century a nifty legal concept called Coverture - whereupon marriage, a woman's legal rights ceased to exist. When you consider today's typical prenuptial agreement, especially in the case of the disadvantaged party (which often is the woman), not much has changed. Its maddening.
Another interesting tidbit, especially in light of the Pope's recent comments - Christianity has only very recently been a proponent of marriage - and only once the powers that be realized they could not stop people from cohabitating and marrying did this come to be. Originally celibacy & non marriage were heavily encouraged. If you can't beat em, join em, I guess.