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 survivors of difficult divorces. Enough said.)
But providence intervened one day in the form of the U.S. government, who - 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 completely into this topic, trying with all her might to discover (through historical research, interviews and much personal reflection) what this stubbornly enduring old institution actually is. The result is Committed - a witty and intelligent contemplation of marriage that debunks myths, unthreads fears and suggests that sometimes even the most romantic of souls must trade in her amorous fantasies for the humbling responsibility of adulthood.
Gilbert's memoir - destined to become a cherished handbook for any thinking person hovering on the verge of marriage - is ultimately a clear-eyed celebration of love, with all the complexity and consequence that real love, in the real world, actually entails.
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This is not a sequel of Eat,Pray, Love
Commited is a book for those people who have or have had at some point in their lives, a hard time coming to terms with the institution of marriage. It is probably not for those who do not or did not question marriage, or those who do not or did not feel uncomfortable with conforming to such traditional institution. Commited is a long personal reflection of the author with regard to the need of getting married independently of her will. It seems that process took her took many months. To me, it took years. So, I definitely recommend the book. But don't expect a sequel of Eat, Pray, Love. This is an exercise on introspection, with rather little travelling and fun.
After finishing the book, I immediately looked for some of her speeches and talks and particularly enjoyed her TED talk on the creative process. She is an incredibly articulate writer with the perfect mixture of ironic and serious prose.
I had never listened to a writer speaking his (her) own book. It is very interesting and she did it well. I wished, though, she sounded a little more ironic on the ironic parts and paused longer after them, so that I would have had time to finish laughing before she started the following paragraph.
It is a long book, impossible to listen in one sitting for someone who juggles between family and office.