May 10, 2011

Love in Many Languages • Committed: A Love Story

Committed: A Love Story Elizabeth Gilbert book cover Committed: A Love Story by Elizabeth Gilbert
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Source/Format: Bought || Paperback

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.

I was a big fan of the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I thought the book was amazing - it told the story of the incredible journey that Liz took for an entire year in Italy, India and Indonesia. I was awed, inspired and found myself jonesing even more to just get up and go. That having been said, the book ends on a happy, if slightly hanging, note - Liz finds love again with Felipe, a Brazilian man she meets in Bali. Though the story ended with perfect clarity (since it was about Liz' journey after all and was NOT a love story), I always wondered what had happened with Felipe and Liz.

Cue Committed, a sort of sequel to Liz' journey in Eat, Pray, Love. Only this time, the focus of the book is her relationship with Felipe. The two are faced with an incredible dilemma when Felipe is denied entrance into the USA; the only solution is something they vowed never to go through again - marriage.

While the book's anthropological and sociological views (as gathered by Liz over the course of the journey she and Felipe took in Asia while his papers and case were being worked on by their lawyer) are quite interesting, I found that I wasn't as interested in the book as I was in Eat, Pray, Love. I did enjoy learning a bit more about different views of relationships and marriage though, don't get me wrong, and I liked the idea of exploring this level of commitment. I also liked how the story of Felipe and Liz ends (and no, I won't spoil it, you'll just have to read it for yourself).

I think I was just very frustrated with how some parts seemed very textbook on the subject on marriage. I felt like there were too many facts for my enjoyment, and I even had to skip over some parts because of that. Committed was a good read, but it took me a while to get through it.


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