Julie's Reviews > Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert
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's review
Feb 22, 2010

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bookshelves: non-fiction-general
Read in February, 2010

I was first introduced to Gilbert's writing through her first book, Eat, Pray, Love. It wasn't my kind of book, but I really liked it anyway. My mom recommended it to me. It wasn't her kind of book, either, but she really liked it, too. Gilbert's TED Talk on creativity and genius is among my favourites. So when I saw that her new book Committed was out, I figured I should check it out.

Gilbert's writing is, as always, insightful and engaging. But through the whole book, I felt that there was something missing, and I think that "something" was a clear sense of forward motion. In Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert is trying to put her life together after a bad divorce, and goes through three distinct phases in Italy, India, and Indonesia, complete with happy ending. Committed, on the other hand, is the story of Gilbert's ambivalence towards her upcoming enforced marriage to the man she loves. In short: In order for her boyfriend to ever enter the U.S. again, she needs to get married to him so he can get a long-term visa. While they both love each other and have pledged their lives to each other, they are both highly suspicious of the institution of marriage, Gilbert perhaps more so than Felipe, her paramour.

Committed is interesting, and I learned a lot about historical and international attitudes towards marriage. But I just can't relate to Gilbert, no matter how compelling her writing. She's in her mid-thirties, suffered a very bad divorce, and is trying to square her feelings with the Department of Homeland Security's ultimatum. I'm in my late 20s and know that I'll be married someday, and I will have kids within that marriage. So while I enjoyed reading Committed, I didn't engage with it the same way I engaged with Eat, Pray, Love... and that's fine. Committed is still a good book, though I might recommend it to a narrower spectrum of people than her first.

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