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

Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert
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's review
Mar 01, 2010

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Read in February, 2010

I was a big fan of Eat, Pray, Love and even went back and read her journalistic book, The Last American Man, so I was super excited to read this book. I appreciate that it can't have been easy to write again after the insane success of Eat, Pray, Love. Not to mention writing about something so personal knowing that you'd have 100s of thousands of readers this time around. And yet, this book is missing some of the things that made Eat, Pray, Love great.
1) A cohesive narrative arch. The book is broken up into chapters like "Marriage and Women", but really it's just a ramble through a bit of research, a bit of personal anecdotes, and a bit of what was going on in Gilbert and Felipe's immigration story. As an editor, I think this book needed to be edited more carefully, to piece the stories together, to flesh out the interesting ideas, and to erase redundancies.
2) Part of the joy of Eat, Pray, Love was that we didn't know where it was going but went along for the ride. I found that Committed was a bit staid. It's hard to pinpoint why. Maybe the writing is flatter, the revelations less amazing, the end of the story known. Or maybe the joy and downright funny moments were thrown out in the first draft. It's hard to know, but this time around Gilbert sounded unsure of herself.
3) Which brings me to my last point: we know Gilbert is not a sociologist, psychologist, etc. It killed me that this was repeated numerous times throughout the book. And yet, I can see why it's needed since clearly people have taken issue with her research already. This added to my sense of an insecure narrator. I actually really liked the research findings she presented, her anecdotal stories about marriage, the way she had to ask everyone and anyone how it works for them.
4) Lastly, maybe this book didn't do it for me because I've already made my peace with marriage. If it had come out a few years ago I might have written an entirely different review.

All that being said, I think it's worth the read because you never know what might resonate with you. For me, the idea of "windows and walls" and subversive marriage were fascinating.
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02/04/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Jody I've read half so far and out of all the reviews, yours resonates with me most at this point.

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