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.  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.  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. 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!