At the end of her best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian-born man of Australian citizenship who'd been living in Indonesia when they met. Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal fidelity to each other, but also swore to never, ever, under any circumstances get legally married. (Both were survivors of previous bad divorces. Enough said.)
But providence intervened one day in the form of the United States government, which - after unexpectedly detaining Felipe at an American border crossing - gave the couple a choice: they could either get married, or Felipe would never be allowed to enter the country again. Having been effectively sentenced to wed, Gilbert tackled her fears of marriage by delving into this topic completely, trying with all her might to discover through historical research, interviews, and much personal reflection what this stubbornly enduring old institution actually is.
Told with Gilbert's trademark wit, intelligence and compassion, Committed attempts to "turn on all the lights" when it comes to matrimony, frankly examining questions of compatibility, infatuation, fidelity, family tradition, social expectations, divorce risks, and humbling responsibilities. Gilbert's memoir is ultimately a clear-eyed celebration of love with all the complexity and consequence that real love, in the real world, actually entails.
©2010 Elizabeth Gilbert; (P)2010 Penguin
I just finished reading Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert. I enjoyed it and listened to the first 2/3's in one day. I almost didn't buy it because of so many mixed reviews and reviews that said it was nothing like Eat, Pray, Love. To me it was the perfect sequel. What I realise is that enjoying the book probably depends on where you are in your life or relationship. When I read Eat, Pray, Love I was very single & dating. Probably a bit disillusioned by the dating scene and looking for something deeper & more fulfilling for myself. Reading about someone in a similar situation and how she found her way through it was exaclty what I needed. Reading her book now, from a pretty new (just over a year) but committed relationship where neither of us feels the need or want to have a formal commitment ceremony, I can relate to her journey once again. For me, this book was perfect, but had I read Committed then & Eat, Pray, Love now, I think I would've enjoyed them, but wouldn't have gotten so much out of them and learned so much about myself in the process.
This book was very close to home for me. I am a commitment phobia person my -self considering marriage to someone overseas. The story was well written, funny and it hit every concern a person needs to think about when marrying someone. The in depth exploration of different cultural perspectives on marriage geographically,historically and statistically was very helpful for me personally. I probably got more out of it than most due to my situation..but I believe that there would be less divorce if people would read this before getting married so that they understand what it means.
Liz carefully outlines the case both for and against marriage in light of the North American social context both at present and through history. More carefully considered and less spontaneous and joyful than Eat, Pray, Love; Liz gives marriage a careful sober second though, and intense scrutiny to uncover what's in it for her.
An excellent read for those considering a first, second, or third marriage, this novel also extols the joys and hoop-jumping of those forced into matrimony by American Homeland Security. This book also covers divorce avoidance and the benefits of a good prenuptial agreement.
Though written in exotic locals such as Cambodia and Laos, few brief vignettes of exotic foreign experiences - so don't expect the fluffy escapism of Eat Pray Love.
This book makes a fair argument for why any independent modern woman would allow herself to succumb to the drudgery of marriage - and leaves you feeling like it's not the worst choice out there.
I have to say right away, that I am a huge Elizabeth Gilbert fan. That said, I enjoyed Committed immensely and was not the slightest bit disappointed.
Ms. Gilbert is a very good reader. She adds to the feeling and sentiment of her words with the tone of her voice. I love her portrayal of Asian voices.
She did a wonderful job of intertwining research of historical facts with memoir.
I would even go as far to say that this book should be required reading for anyone who thinks they want to get married or anyone who is wondering why they are not married or wondering why they are divorced.
Unlike the reviewer from the NYTimes I am female and think that females probably like this more than males.
And I hate to admit this because I do not like weddings but I cried when I heard her relate the story of hers.
I love EG. I loved eat pray love and I have watched every interview and talk that one can find of hers on the Internet. I love the way that she writes and how personal she is when talking about her life.
However, even though I knew that this book would be different than eat pray love and even though I tried to go into it with no expectations I could do nothing but get disappointed by this book.
It felt like a book of marriage facts way more than the story of what happened next in her life. The way that she over analyzes marriage and takes us on the thought process with her for so many pages is agonizing. I just wanted her to stop convincing herself to do something that she doesn't believe in. Every time she went on a tangent of facts I fought so hard not to skip it.
I read Eat, Love, Pray, a year or so ago and go back and re-listen quite often. Please note, this is not that book, this is a great breakdown of marriage and what it means to some, vs. others. And what some people have to go through to come to terms with it. The reason I think I loved it as much as I did, was all of the information she passes along, the details from marriage counselors, researchers, and her own experiences. I love the way she writes, and even though you must understand these are HER opinions, and by no means are they mine, I get what she is going through, and that takes a lot, to put your self THAT out there. I recommended this to my Sister (who is not a reader) and she too loved it, and said she learned a lot as well, and I cannot give anything a higher rating than that.
I highly recommend this book!
I liked eat pray love, but I LOVED committed. I read EPL because I wanted to be one of the girls and take part in my friends book club. I listened to Committed and really enjoyed it because unlike EPL it is not a extraordinary tale of a love story; but rather the ordinary story of love and devotion.
I love this continue story of Liz and Felipe and how they ended up breaking their rule of no marriage. It was interesting to me as I thought as well I would never get married again but here I go. To here her talk about how she is a skeptic of marriage really resonated with me. While listening to the story I would catch myself calling my boyfriend Darling just as Felipe calls Liz.
It was very satisfying to hear the continued story of Liz and Felipe; after listening to Eat, Pray, Love. With Love being my favorite part I was left wonder just what happened to them. Additionally I loved the anthropological aspect to the story, I learned so much about marriage and how it varies all over the world yet in many respects is the same. It gave me some food for thought on my up coming marriage to my beloved. While I am sure it was not ment to be a self help book it did have that effect somewhat on me.
This is a pleasant audiobook. It's not as insightful or enjoyable as Eat, Pray, Love, but a few of the chapters are quite funny. Gilbert does not offer any new insights into marriage, and she does not touch the inherent sexism of the institution, but she does a decent job navel gazing.
I think Gilbert shines when she talks about her own life. The best parts of this book were the parts about her and her fiance's trials and tribulations as they struggled to marry as a means to get him a visa to the U.S. The rest of the book, however, is about "Marriage" with a capital "M"-- long investigations of marriage in other countries and cultures and throughout history. While some of it was really interesting, other parts dragged on, making me wonder when she'd get back to talking about her life again. She is a good reader, and it is definitely worth reading if you are considering getting married and want an in-depth look into the institution itself.
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