Title: Committed: A Love Story
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Marriage, Memoirs, Non-fiction
Dates read: 10th – 12th December 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: Anyhow, to be perfectly honest, I find it a bit crazy that social conservatives are fighting so hard against this at all, considering that it’s quite a positive thing for society in general when as many intact families as possible live under the estate of matrimony.
At the end of Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian-born Australian citizen. Resettling in America, they swore eternal fidelity, but also (each a survivor of a divorce. Enough said) swore never, ever, to get married. But when providence intervened in the form of the US government, they faced a stark choice: either marry, or Felipe could never return to the US. Effectively sentenced to wed, Gilbert delves into the subject of marriage and, debunking myths, unthreading fears, celebrating love, suggests that sometimes even the most romantic of souls must trade in amorous fantasies for the humbling responsibility of adulthood.
This is one of the best memoirs I’ve read in a long time! It’s realistic, honest, and most of the flaws that Gilbert highlights in herself are the ones that I see in myself. And this is the most realistic approach to marriage, love and happily ever afters that I have ever read. There isn’t this party line that just because you love you should get married and everything will work out perfectly… rather, it’s a commitment that you make and a discussion that you constantly have.
I love that rather than wanting to be married, Gilbert spends the entire time within this story finding her reason to tie the knot for the second time. Rather than just trying to fit her ideals into the more traditional outlook of marriage. I’m at a point in my life myself that I’m not sure what I want out of it. How I want to fit in with the ideas surrounding family, career and womanhood. And reading a novel with a woman who is juggling similar issues (although coming at it from a different point of view) actually helped to make me feel far more settled than I have been in a long time.
For someone like me who is in a forever relationship, but not actually married, I loved how Gilbert was able to make the distinction between this. That just because you want to be with someone for the rest of your life, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are married – or that you have to get married. At least, that’s what I get out of this – marriage is a pathway you can choose to take, but if you don’t, that’s also okay.
I would suggest this book for anyone who wants to get married. It is the most realistic and insightful take I have ever read on the institution. It is filled completely with love, but also a great dose of realism. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll love that it’s not about the sugar-coated sweet, happily ever after version. But more so about finding a way to have a marriage that will last.
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