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'm so glad when Marriage was the only way to stay together, they truely understood how much they loved each other. I on the other hand wasn't so lucky...We all should eventually decide. But, I loved all the different cultural ideas of marriage and statistics that the book brings up.
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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