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 enjoyed Ms. Gilbert's narration of her own work (though, Liz, if you ever read this, the correct pronunciation of Laotian is lay-OH-shun, not low-AY-shun; drove me nuts every time I heard it - very distracting). Aside from that gaffe, the inflection and nuance her narration brought to the story enriched it in a way that another narrator would not have been able to do. That being said, I was only partially engaged and drawn into the story and not immersed as I had hoped to be. There were parts that seemed redundant or wordy or irrelevant and, as another reviewer observed, the word "moreover" was used far too frequently (which also drove me nuts each time I heard it. Where are the editors?). Her references about the history of marriage quite were enlightening, and aside from the few nitty things noted above, Ms. Gilbert still writes with wit, charm and a forthrightness that I enjoy.
I've read a lot of negative reviews of Committed, but I really enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love so I thought I'd give it a try. Elizabeth Gilbert is a great narrator, and I almost felt like she was talking to me. I really liked the way she described the history of marriage. Although she says the book is about marriage is western civilization, she also has a lot of anecdotal information about marriage in non-western cultures.
Really appreciated her first book. Was surprised at her maturity, research, integration and style in this one. And the ending holds a surprise in the understanding of Marriage for all who are cautious about entering into this sometimes scary agreement. Highly Recommended. Did I mention she reads as well as she writes? Very easy to follow and a delight to take in.
Liz starts this book out be explaining that like Eat, Pray, Love, she penned this one assuming that no one would read it. Therefore, she comes across as fresh, honest and authentic in her search for answers to question that all women have either before they get married or years after: is getting married to this man the right thing to do?
Although I disagree with some of her politics, I find that she and I, and all women really, have so much in common when it comes to how this marriage thing works, socially, emotionally, and physically. Unlike me, she did alot of research into the history of marriage and marriage in different cultures and really gave obsessive thought before she jumped in. Her finding make one thing clear, our struggles and frustrations, our joys and contentment with our spouce (male or female) are universal. After 10 1/2 years of marriage, I found this book to be not just commiserative but also reaffirming in ways that make me a better wife even though I chosed to marry for less well thought out reasons.
I love listening to her voice read her own words. It is like talking to a girlfriend over lunch because she is so intimate with the details stated and unstated that you want to keep listening to hear more.
I listened to this book on a very long (13 hour) car trip. I was looking forward to it, since I loved Eat, Pray, Love, and I was very interested in finding out how things worked out between her and Filipe. This was a painful listen in many places, because I found it to be way too dry in some areas (Gilbert tries to address the anthropology of marriage in history and other cultures - For this, I recommend "I Don't - a History of Marriage" Unfortunately, she does not have the knowledge required to discuss that subject well or even in an entertaining manner - which I was really looking forward to. At one point, I thought the whole thing was over the top crazy when she agonizes for far too long over whether to go to Cambodia and leave her beloved happily by the pool with his nice cold beverages. And then how to discuss the matter without "asking permission" or making him feel abandoned. This was just far too much for me. Maybe it's a generational thing, but I wouldn't hesitate to do something I would enjoy and maybe would only have one chance to do in my life. I shouldn't be too harsh. I was happy to hear the rest of the story, but it really needed a good editing job or something to help it flow better and be more entertaining.
Like her first book, I thought it started strong but then lost me about half way through. Although I finished it, I was left feeling unfulfilled. I loved the statistics on the history of marriage but felt the personal information was not very interesting.
This felt more like a history textbook than a personal story. I kept finding myself drifting. She digressed and frequently explored tangents that while they were not totally unrelated, did not keep my attention. She did a great job narrating but its not the sequel I was expecting.
I purchased this book because I'm a huge EPL fan. It's but not like her last book. Too many facts and quite boring. She does tell a few stories that are very memorable but it was not what I was expecting. Still a fan EG!
I heard Elizabeth Gilbert interviewed on NPR and I was so sure that I would love this book, that I ordered it on the spot. I did not love it, I only sort of liked it. Much of it seemed like the musings of a neurotic women.
I did like the well researched, sociology aspects of it...learning about the evolution of marriage in the U.S. and the expectations of marital partnes in other countries. Buy it, but don't expect to love it!
Loved this book! I can't stop discussing it with anyone and everyone that will listen to me. A must read for anyone married, thinking about marriage, and even for those who aren't thinking about marriage!
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