Saturday, September 10, 2011

Committed: A Love Story

Committed: A Love StoryCommitted: A Love Story by Elizabeth Gilbert

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I hadn't planned to read this book because of my feelings for EPL. A friend sent it to me with a note that she thought I would enjoy it more than EPL. She was right, at least in the fact that I did not throw the book across the room as I did with EPL - several times. The book started out good, really really good. There was story, dialogue, action, feeling, it was good! And then, things became weird.

The book became this long, opinionated self-help book. EG takes us through an education on the state of marriage, such as it is in modern times, and a (so-called) history of marriage. I almost put the book down when I read her out of context translation of what the bible says of marriage. She also discusses subjects such as marriage and children, marriage and working, marriage and passion, and the marriage ceremony itself. A variety of interesting topics, certainly, but missing one necessary thing: A story. I wanted a story (in fact the title advertises the book as "A Love Story"). There were lots of little stories of other things wrapped up in all the lunatic ranting, but there was no real story of Liz and Felipe.

So, what kept me reading this non-story? Mostly her writing. She writes in such a clear voice, at times it was like sitting down for coffee with a good friend. Also, as a marriage skeptic myself, I heard a lot of things that I believed long ago to be true. Things that resonated with me on a "How can I be true to me but still fulfill my societal obligation" level.

Synopsis: At the end of her memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian living in Indonesia. The couple swore eternal love, but also swore (as skittish divorce survivors) to never marry. However, when Felipe was unexpectedly kicked out of the United States by U.S. Immigration officials, the couple was faced with a strict ultimatum: get married or Felipe could never enter America again. Over the next ten months, as Elizabeth and Felipe wandered Southeast Asia waiting for permission to return home and wed, the author searched far and wide for wisom, advice, and perspective on the subject of romantic commitment.

Recommended Reading:
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard
Un Amico, Italiano: Eat, Pray, Love in Rome by Luca Spaghetti
I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali

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