September 27, 2010

Committed, By Elizabeth Gilbert

After Eat, Pray, Love, I was more than anxious to read Elizabeth Gilbert's follow up, Committed. I loved everything about her first memoir and had high hopes for #2. Especially once I learned about the plot.

See, I'm a bit of a Nervous Nancy when it comes to this whole marriage thing. Now that I think I've found the guy, I'm riddled with doubt. How does one know for sure that it will last? What makes a great marriage? Do I have what it takes?

Enter my fellow skeptic, Ms. Gilbert.

Plot: In Committed, Elizabeth Gilbert examines her fears and misgivings with marriage as she prepares to embark on her second marriage to Felipe, a handsome Brazilian she met while living in Bali. Elizabeth and Felipe are in essence forced to marry after a nasty run-in with the Department of Homeland Security. Both Elizabeth and Felipe had dealt with divorce, and neither were in a rush to the altar. While they are exiled and awaiting permission to re-enter the country and marry, Elizabeth does all she can to read up on marriage. Looking at ancient and modern wedding customs and marriage tradition and reconciling the meaning of marriage with her own interpretation of the concept.

Characters: Elizabeth Gilbert has a fantastic voice. I didn't listen to the audio version, but I felt like I could hear her telling the story as I turned the pages. In some ways, I feel like her voice is even more prevalent in this memoir, but that may be that I've heard her speak since I read Eat, Pray, Love, so I'm able to better connect her vocal tone with her writing. For me, it's her that keeps me reading. While there were parts of the book that slowed me down, it was always her voice that kept me interested. As a fellow marriage skeptic, I was also interested in the nuggets that she uncovered about marriage, divorce, and what can keep you from facing the latter. Her findings solidified my own views of matrimony.

Structure: As Elizabeth investigates the many facets of marriage, she divides the book into various parts, i.e. Marriage and Expectation, Marriage and Infatuation, Marriage and Autonomy, etc. Each section examines Liz's personal struggle as well as her research on the subject. It's a nice way to break up the technical talk.

All in all, a good read, especially for those of us skeptics. 4 stars.

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