Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage
By Elizabeth Gilbert
Faced with the possible deportation of her love, Filipe, Gilbert has come to the conclusion that she must again get married. This is something that neither she nor Felipe thought they would do again. Having gone through an awful divorce (as witnessed in Eat, Pray, Love) Gilbert is very skeptical of the institution of marriage.
I think this is the reason I love her. I can relate to her. Although I am married and haven’t personally gone thorough a divorce, I was definitely jaded by my parents divorce and decided early on it is much better to be happily divorced than unhappily married. Yes, I am married, but I made sure that nowhere in our vows did it say anything about “till death do us part” because I just don’t believe it. My husband is fully aware of my “issues” (both with marriage and otherwise). I have to admit part of me hoped that Committed would bring me some reassurance, and it kind of did. Gilbert seemed to jump into her research with a clear plan to “figure it all out.” One of my favorite lines is after she is talking to her mother about things given up for marriage as opposed to things gained.
Therefore, the tidy ultimate conclusion is…???
It was slowly becoming clear to me that perhaps there was never going to be any tidy ultimate conclusion here. My mother herself had probably given up long ago trying to draw tidy ultimate conclusions about her existence, having abandoned (as so many of us must do, after a certain age) the luxuriously innocent fantasy that one is entitled to have mixed feelings about one’s own life.
In Committed, Gilbert bounces back and forth between her stories—including conversations with people she met while waiting for Felipe to be allowed back in the United States and her extensive research on the subject of marriage. I found it fascinating to learn about the various histories and different rituals in other cultures. Gilbert has an incredible talent for recreating her conversations and adventures and I enjoyed every minute of it.
**Source: Personal copy bought with personal money.