So lets just say I read this book because I was so impressed with the last one by Elizabeth Gilbert, well actually I was mostly impressed with Eat Pray Love. I almost gave up on it… I think it was page 172… or that’s the random page that I have been using when I relate how I felt about that book.
I did almost give up on her…. after page 172, I changed my mind. She is a bit neurotic… actually very neurotic would be more accurate. She went on and on and on about her inner turmoil around her marriage and its demise and then her rebound relationship with the young man… but this review isn’t about that book, it’s about the follow-up to that book. We all know that it is a hard act to follow… I mean how many authors get a movie about their books? So a REALLY hard act to follow, especially when its only her fourth book.
So when it appeared at the bookstore with a 40% sticker attached… I decided that it was the book for me. I must say I was swayed because the cover said it was a love story… and I thought that it would be a nice read about how they reconciled their different heritages, lifestyles, monetary levels and lived happily ever after.
I disagree now with the label ‘love story’ but I don’t disagree with much else in this book. Gilbert, with her usual neurosis and excellent writing style writes about the next stage of her life with Felipe. All is going well as they spend time jetting between the US and a variety of other countries. Then the unthinkable happens, a red flag goes up and Felipe gets refused entry into the US. They insist with the amount and length of his trips that have been occurring, he isn’t simply doing business in the US, but must be considering the US a more permanent stop and as he hasn’t been given approval for such status, they deem Felipe a threat to the Homeland.
Felipe is forced to leave and head off to Australia but not before the officials ask why they don’t just get married as it would solve all the issues? Gilbert balks at the idea, actually they both do. They had taken, as a couple, a firm stance against the institution and all it stands for. With her divorce and its monetary leash and Felipe’s own bad experience, they had vowed to never tie the knot.
So they begin the long arduous job of securing just the right to get married. Gilbert had decided that they should continue to travel around during the process instead of just staying in one spot and waiting it out. And so the book takes the reader through all types of conditions whilst she researches marriage and its meaning in the areas they visit.
The book is a great read. The reader finds out where a lot of our western ideas about marriage come from and how much they have changed over the last 1000 years. From when the Church got involved to when the Government decided to try and control it and its contractual obligations. I was very surprised at some of her findings.
Gilbert is an excellent story-teller and I found in this book, she curbed her neurosis a bit so as to not overwhelm the reader with too much information about her innermost thoughts. I would recommend it as a summer read. It won’t disappoint. ( book review of Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert)