Committed – A Sceptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert

I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love last year. Long after all the hype had died down. I kept my expectations low, because a lot of times, I have got disappointed with some of the most raved-about books. This time, however, I was certainly not disappointed. I really enjoyed her writing style. Which is why, Committed has been on my wishlist since.

Now, for the last few months, I could see that my library stocked, it was available, but I would either forget to pick it up when I was there, or would never find it on the shelves(and all the library assistants were bound to be busy). Last week, I decided that I would not leave the library without the book.

At the end of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, Liz finds love with Brazilian born, Australian Citizen Felipe. Both of them have survived divorces, and never want to get married again. They just want to live together and enjoy what they have, but the US Homeland Security has other plans for them. They are told that Felipe would not be allowed to enter the US again, because he has entered and reentered it too many times to be with Liz. So the only option they have is to get married, if they want to be able to live in the United States, which is where Liz wants to live.

Faced with this situation, Elizabeth does what she does best, throws herself into research about marriage, to find out everything she can. She went into her first marriage with no facts, with literally no preparation. This time, she wants to leave no stone unturned. She mainly focuses on marriages in the Western context, and there are some really interesting snippets of information of the history of the institution of marriage, and how things evolved to be the marriage of today. It is quite interesting to see how all societies have gone through similar changes in their approach to marriage. The effect of women’s liberation on the institution on marriage. Β Her narrative keeps you engrossed till the last page.

She has interesting anecdotes from her life, her parents, and her grandmother’s life. Marriage, and how it has changed over the years. She analyses the factors that might lead to divorce, agonizing over facts that might indicate that she might not be marriage material. Her own worries over getting married is analysed, discussed. Β It is very different from Eat, Pray, Love but it still makes a very compelling read.

There were some questionable things mentioned in the book. Apparently in India, May 3 is National Broken Hearts Day! Did you know that? Funnily, I googled, and NOTHING came up!!! And then she mentions that it is common for a woman to be married to all the brothers in the family in Southern India! I can’t help wonder where all this information came from.

Despite the few glitches, the book is a great read. It keeps you engrossed in her tale. There is something about the way she writes, that makes you feel that she is in the room, chatting to you. I think it is this quality of her writing, makes it such a wonderful read.Β It is more than just a research on marriage, it is her journey, her way of making peace with the concept of marriage. Would I recommend it? Absolutely!

28 thoughts on “Committed – A Sceptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert

  1. May be the woman getting married to all brothers is referring to Draupadi from Mahabaratha? I have seen sisters getting married to same man at South Indian villages…

    • Even if it were about Draupadi- it is hardly a common custom, or anything, is it?

      Yes, one man marrying more than one woman – definitely happens..
      Have you read the book?

      • I have heard the custom exists among a little known tribe in the Karnataka/Kerala border. Of course I have read it as mentioned only in fiction. And if at all she was referring to Draupadi, it definitely is not South India she should be talking about.
        I have also heard that in the North where agriculture was the mainstay, brothers used to have a common wife. Most of the time the brothers would be working and sleeping in the fields (too vast), and they take turns to stay at home with her. This was told to me by a Punjabi gentleman. He said that the sali aadha gharwali jokes among them originated from this custom of the past. I don’t know the truth of this. Just something I heard.

  2. You know what? you have this interesting way of writing reviews where one is tempted to rush into the library and beg the librarian for the book πŸ˜† I didn’t red Eat, Love and Pray because of the hype and thinking it must be a chick lit πŸ™„ Now don’t ask me how I derived at that conclusion 😳

    Thank you, Thank you πŸ™‚ I have always been very conscious while writing reviews – which is probably why I normally only review the books I really like πŸ™‚

    hmm…research about marriage did you say? I wonder should I read it and then feel sorry for myself? πŸ˜₯

    πŸ™‚ Or may be Mr B might want to read and feel sorry for himself πŸ™‚

  3. All your book reviews here make me want to read all of them together πŸ™‚ I enjoyed the movie, and so I thought the book would defeat the purpose, and never read it. However, am a fan of the mush and goo, and as do all such funny people, wondered beyond the “happily ever after” πŸ™‚

    Thank you πŸ™‚ I feel more confident about writing reviews now πŸ™‚ I think you would enjoy the way she writes.. Haven’t seen the movie, so I can’t possibly comment, but I really like the way she writes πŸ™‚

    So here is that part.
    Perhaps India, with its epic history, and stereotyping (thanks to the myths, and the flicks), sends out these notions that some western writers incorporate into their work, not knowing the true details. I wish though, more facts were used, as against “the sense” of it πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Absolutely πŸ™‚
    Thank you Smitha!

    As I said, comments like yours make me feel less worried about reviewing πŸ™‚

  4. I felt the same way about eat Pray love and liked the book nonetheless. Funnily enough, Committed has been on my library bookshelf (we have an online thingy) for ages now. After reading your review, I definitely do want to read it soon!

  5. I have read the first book and enjoyed it. Will get this one day πŸ™‚
    And those misinformations are amusing and infuriating as well. Why do people assume & misinterpret facts about India is beyond me.

  6. I recently read committed- loved it ! In fact , i think i liked committed more than Eat pray love.. The May3 debacle is news to me- just didn’t read too much into it. But she should have checked her facts before publishing it. Wonder why the book didn’t do too well.

  7. I am looking forward to reading Committed. I just finished Eat, Pray and Love. It has been on my bookshelf for some months now. My son gifted it to me πŸ™‚ I liked the easy writing style very very much. So now I want to read the second one πŸ™‚

  8. Research about marriage!! Damn, you should have told me this earlier! πŸ˜€ One year earlier, to be precise! :mrgreen:

    Hmm haven’t read either book. Looks interesting πŸ™‚

  9. I have had both Eat, Pray, Love and Committed on my bookshelf for ages now, and strangely, I have never felt the urge to pick one of them up and read. Your review makes me want to do that! πŸ™‚

    I hope you are not disappointed πŸ™‚

    I have heard two kinds of reviews about Eat, Pray, Love – some people are absolutely in love with the book, and some hated it. I am yet to figure out where I stand. Guess it is time to finally read the book now. πŸ™‚

    Yes, I know!

    Committed sounds very interesting – research on marriage, et al.

    A woman is South India is commonly married to all the brothers in the family?! I have never heard of such of a custom before, and it sounds very strange. 😐

    Do check out Shail’s comment. She talks about some tribes having such customs..

    Last but not the least, I LOVE the way you review books. I know I have said this before, but I have to say this here again. Your review makes me want to pick up all the books you have read – one by one – and savour them! πŸ™‚
    Thank you so very much!

  10. this line tempts me to try Elizabeth’s work πŸ™‚ you feel that she is in the room, chatting to you.

    good review πŸ™‚ and I can see you are following your pledge, thanks to the pledge πŸ˜€

    • Yes, I am trying very hard πŸ™‚ So I have started writing the reviews as soon as I complete the book. I get lazy if I don’t do the review immediately:)

  11. I liked ELP…and I read it last year end too…much after the hype was dead πŸ™‚

    πŸ™‚ Same pinch πŸ™‚

    This seems interesting…can I thank you for introducing me to Jodi Picoult…I have read two of hers and am subscribing to more..thank you thank you πŸ™‚

    You liked them!! I am so glad you did πŸ™‚

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