Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I will be the first person also to tell you that I read this book only because it was available through the library for my Kindle. And I thought, "Why the hell not?" And thank goodness I did, because I was surprised at how much this book affected me.
Commited by Elizabeth Gilbert was departure from EPL and a return to her research writing that makes her intelligence and inquiry come clear for the reader. She uses her impending marriage with her Brazilian boyfriend, thanks to Homeland Security, as a catalyst for understanding what makes marriage what it is--how to make it work and how to keep it from falling apart. As a person who is skeptical of the institution myself, I was eternally grateful for Gilbert's questions and investigations and her process for understanding what she was about to enter into.
I agree with one reviewer on Goodreads who responded to the backlash to this book (more so than EPL!) when she said that how much you enjoyed this book and took out of it was directly correlated to your expectations going in. (I paraphrased that and put it in my own words, by the way.) People who were expecting the soul-searching, life-is-rough, if-I-dig-deep-it-will-come ethos that pervaded EPL then you will deeply disappointed. But if you go into this book with an open mind and really open yourself up to understand what Gilbert is trying to figure out, which is what makes marriage work, then you will leave with an understanding that there is no answer, and that's ok too.
In conclusion, I think you should give this book a chance. With an open mind, of course. Particularly if you are not yet married and/or are struggling with whether or not it's something you want--now or ever. If you come in with an open mind, you will leave with your horizons expanded. And it's worth it.