Who would like this book?
-someone who’s interested in the role of marriage in history and our current culture
-someone who thinks ALL this can be done in a 300-page book
-a hard-core Elizabeth Gilbert fan
I finished Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert in two days. I didn’t find it a particularly profound book. I read it at a time when I needed to hear Gilbert’s message about living in the moment and being content. But all in all, I did enjoyed EPL, thought at moments it was hilarious, and recommended it to several people. The book was also my intro to”travel” memoirs.
Committed is the sequel to Eat Pray Love.
I heard Gilbert interviewed on CBC, and she said that it was difficult for her to write this book, as if her voice could not be found. As someone who “dabbles” a bit with writing, I picked this up in the book almost immediately. Gilbert desires more than anything, for this book to be a different book then Eat Pray Love, which was on the New York Times Best Seller Book list for 187 weeks. It seems, from the feel of Committed, that she didn’t want to ride on the success of her book Eat Pray Love, and desired to release a different sounding book, but could not. I think that Gilbert does not want to be typecast. Or maybe she just got lucky with Eat Pray Love and couldn’t pull it off again in a sequel. On an incredibly creepy note, Gilbert is listed as one of the decade’s most influential people by Time Magazine.
The book Committed: a skeptic makes peace with Marriage, is a boring title for a boring book.
In the conclusion of the book Eat Pray Love, Gilbert meets a man who she falls madly in love with. He is Australian/Brazilian and she is American. Gilbert wants to settle in the lovely U.S. of A, but her boyfriend Felipe is denied the ability to enter the US unless she sponsors him through marriage. Gilbert is absolutely, positively opposed to marriage.
So, she wrote Committed to come to terms with forced marriage, and the entire institution of Marriage.
She researches marriage somewhat through history, and somewhat across cultures to come up with a mental justification, a pretense so she can marry in good conscience. Chapters and chapters of ramblings ensue that include something about motherhood and about pioneers. She concludes ( I assume) that marriage is what you make of it. That it changes with each individual and evolves over time. Commitment means something different in each relationship.
I’m only assuming because I didn’t finish the book.
I am a very STRONG advocate of not finishing books. Life is too short to read books that you think you should read because it was recommended to you, or because you think they are culturally relevant. So this book fell into that category for me. I wasn’t worth my time. I only enjoyed the few parts of the book where Gilbert introduces someone she has met or talked to about marriage. She is a gifted humourist and can paint people vividly.
She pissed me off too, because she said that Alan and I were extremely likely to separate. Well, she didn’t address us personally, but we had the Liz Gilbert divorce factors nailed down: getting married young, having kids, being Christian, wife with no career (husband with no career yet, for that matter)…. What I can say to Elizabeth Gilbert, who is in her late 30s, is that life is not simply about factors that are met or not met. Marriage is much more complex than that. Maybe she said the same thing, but I didn’t get to that part in the book.
PS. If anyone LOVED this book, please argue with me!