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.
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.
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.
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 loved "Eat, Pray, Love" so of course I had to know what happened after that story. My own story is nothing like Ms. Gilbert's. I have been married happily for 25+ years, but I learned much about the institution I did not know before in this book. As she discovers what marriage is and is not, she shares her insight with the rest of us. For me, it was both surprising and fascinating.
I really enjoyed her writing in Eat, Pray, Love - and I enjoy her way of telling a story so I was looking forward to this. Little did I know that I would be faced with the prospect of getting married for the first time, in my 40s, just as I was starting this book.
I am almost as ambivalent as Elizabeth was and this book calmed me down with facts as well as great narrative. I loved the stories about how women in other cultures view their husbands.
I'm sure I'll have to listen to this again for some reassurance that it CAN work. I know she said she really wrote the book for just a handful of the women in her life, but secretly, she wrote it for me too.
I LOVED this book. She has such a way with words, and to hear the actual author read her own book and her own story, made it extra special. I loved the history she includes about marriage, and the discussion of marriage in other cultures. I would highly recommend this book.
I loved Eat, Pray, Love.....it is incredible book that changed my perspective on a lot of things so of course I had to get this as soon as it was available. But I found this boring at times and I couldn't help but notice that she over used the word "more-over" which drove me nutty! That being said, I still love her narration...one of the best I've heard to date and I found certain stories/facts interesting and helpful. If you loved Eat, Pray, Love you should give this a chance and decide for yourself.
Definitely a book for 30-somethings who think their mission in life is to "find themselves."
The author wrote a rationalization of marriage based on her own search for "fulfillment." When one is reduced to rationalization, it's because they are going to do something no matter what and have to fill in the backstory with reasons. Her conclusion: well, I don't really like marriage, but I'm going to do it anyway.
I especially disliked her attempt at intellectual justification by styling herself a Greek and those she doesn't agree with as Hebrews. She obviously has studied just enough philosophy to be dangerous.
She could've perhaps handed the reading over to a professional. That maybe would have made it sound a little less self-absorbed.
I would not cut a character; I would add "character."
This is a perfect fit for a generation who have been raised to think their feelings are paramount and who define themselves by how "happy" they are.
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