February 20, 2010

Committed, by Elizabeth Gilbert

I really loved Elizabeth Gilbert's previous book of non-fiction, Eat, Pray, Love (as did thousands of other people), so I was eager to read her new one. It's about ten months she spent on a trip in Asia with her fiance while in immigration limbo. Her fiance, Felipe, is the Brazilian man she met at the end of Eat, Pray, Love, and they are completely committed to spending their lives together, but completely opposed to the institution of marriage, both having suffered horrible divorces. However, the wonders of Homeland Security ban Felipe from ever again entering the US unless they marry.

I would have liked to read a book about her trip in Asia and struggles with American immigration laws. Instead, I got a book which tries to research marriage through studies and books in an attempt to convince the author that her second marriage is not going to be a disaster. This was both boring and, I felt, self-centred and unnecessary. Gilbert and Felipe are clearly deeply in love, and had two private commitment ceremonies. What's the big deal about making it legal to satisfy some officials? They are both mature adults who've learned from the mistakes of the past, so I couldn't understand why she was so damn hesitant. Plus the book seemed to be meant more for her personal comfort than other people's enjoyment. Several times I grew bored while reading it, and a few times I grew frustrated and considered putting it down and moving on. I enjoyed the last few pages though and was able to finish it with a smile.


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