Thursday, 11 August 2011

Committed - Elizabeth Gilbert

Synopsis - At the end of Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian-born Australian citizen.  Resettling in America, they swore eternal fidelity, but also (each a survivor of a divorce).  Enough said!  Swore never, ever, to get married.  But when providence intervened in the form of the US government, they faced a stark choice: either marry, or Felipe could never return to the US.  Effectively sentenced to wed, Gilbert delves into the subject of marriage and, debunking myths, unthreading fears, celebrating love, suggests that sometimes even the most romantic of souls must trade in amorous fantasies for the humbling responsibility of adulthood.

Review - This book came into my hands via the library.  Free books to reading groups to review.  Due to holidays etc. there was only some group take up but I have received some responses which are mixed.  It is interesting to find that we can have some very diverse opinions.  I will put across my thoughts on this blog as I have not sought permission from my friends to publish their comments.

I liked this book but not as much as Eat Pray Love.  I found it interesting but I do feel it could have been wrapped up into a shorter work.  There was one chapter that I found particularly annoying and in some ways I am not sure how relevant it really was.  Elizabeth had already told us that to enable her and Felipe to continue their relationship and live together they were living a hand to mouth existence in Asia (Laos).  The strain of living out of a suitcase in no fixed abode must have been intolerable but one chapter seemed to be devoted to whingeing about it.  Felipe is a little more settled into his life and wants nothing more than to 'feel at home'.  I have to say that I do not quite understand why they did not return to Bali sooner.  Elizabeth still has wanderlust but as her trip to Cambodia was a bit of a disaster, maybe now she is finally settled and married in the USA she will 'calm down'.  The history, cultural and religous aspects of marriage were very interesting and the fact that our author is just that, not a psychologist, sociologist, anthropologist or historian, in some ways makes it better reading.  The reader is able to glean their own views without having philanthropic theories thrown at them.  3*

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