Committed: Book summary and reviews of Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert

Committed

A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

By Elizabeth Gilbert

Committed
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2010,
    304 pages.

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Book Summary

At the end of her bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian-born man of Australian citizenship who’d been living in Indonesia when they met. Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal fidelity to each other, but also swore to never, ever, under any circumstances get legally married. (Both were survivors of previous horrific divorces. Enough said.)

But providence intervened one day in the form of the United States government, which—after unexpectedly detaining Felipe at an American border crossing—gave the couple a choice: they could either get married, or Felipe would never be allowed to enter the country again. Having been effectively sentenced to wed, Gilbert tackled her fears of marriage by delving into this topic completely, trying with all her might to discover through historical research, interviews, and much personal reflection what this stubbornly enduring old institution actually is. Told with Gilbert’s trademark wit, intelligence and compassion, Committed attempts to "turn on all the lights" when it comes to matrimony, frankly examining questions of compatibility, infatuation, fidelity, family tradition, social expectations, divorce risks and humbling responsibilities.

Gilbert's memoir is ultimately a clear-eyed celebration of love with all the complexity and consequence that real love, in the real world, actually entails.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The good news is her voice is clear and winning. The bad news is the structure doesn't work. Part history, part travelogue, Committed often makes for a jumpy read." - Publishers Weekly

"A vaguely depressing account of how intimate relationships are complicated by marriage, divorce and expectations about both." - Kirkus Reviews

"Austere ruminations... make us wonder why, exactly, she's chosen to marry again, and Committed feels, in part, like a she-doth-protest-too-much justification. But Gilbert has given the antiquated institution a thorough once-over, and the clear-eyed primer is a must-read for any modern woman contemplating a trip down the aisle." - Marie Claire

"There are a few memorable vignettes, but it’s mostly a skim-the-surface tour of marriage through the ages. It lacks wisdom. It’s dull. There's nothing to connect the reader to Gilbert." - Head Butler.

"She makes writing a book sound like busywork... the strain is as palpable as the voice is cute, and the drama is virtually nonexistent." - New York Times

"The problem is that this is a first-person account and the subject is love, and her life. She tells readers that she loves Felipe, but nowhere does she show a truly unique, poignant moment. She talks of her anguish about marriage, but it is never proved in the actions between them." - Los Angeles Times

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Rated 1 of 5 of 5 by CaliforniaGirl
Just an Opinion...What happened to Elizabeth Gilbert
I loved Eat,Pray & Love...was so excited to know a follow up book was coming out...so I picked up a copy of "Committed" & could hardly wait to delve into it...I gave up a movie so I could start this book....well, I read, & read & wondered what happened to the author...she should have stayed single or kept her life in a better order as she did in Eat,Pray, Love..the reader is left out...one minute she speaks like an Australian...then she remembers who she is...I thought perhaps her memory would come back...I did not want to know the history of marriage...I wanted to know what happened to Elizabeth in her own life...I plan on returning the book...maybe she will realize her "Commitment" should be to her self first...

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Author Information

Elizabeth Gilbert Author Biography

Elizabeth Gilbert was born in 1969 in Connecticut.  She grew up on a small family tree farm, with her sister, novelist and historian Catharine Gilbert Murdock (author of Dairy Queen, the first in a series for teens).  She attended New York University and graduated in 1991 with a BA in Political Science. 

In addition to writing books, she has worked steadily as a journalist. Throughout much of the 1990’s she was on staff at SPIN Magazine, where she chronicled diverse individuals and subcultures, covering everything from rodeo's Buckle Bunnies (reprinted in The KGB Bar Reader) to China’s headlong construction of the Three Gorges Dam. In 1999, Elizabeth began working for GQ magazine, where her profiles of extraordinary men – from singers ...

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