Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed; A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage arrived at my bookstore on January12. I had pre-ordered my copy, so all I had to do was drive down there and pick it up. Having read Eat Pray Love twice, because there we so many messages inside the book for me, I was now eager to see whether there were pertinent messages about marriage I could relate to. There were. There definitely were, but I have to say there might have been a few too many. Committed is so jam full of historical references, and so many personal anecdotes, that for me, the memoir veered in too many different directions to give the reader a satisfied feeling of being all-of-a piece. I think Gilbert struggled with too many competing voices. I also think she struggled with the competing disciplines of sociology, psychology, pop culture, while trying as much as possible to interject her own conversational, engaging narrative voice throughout.
So would I recommend Committed to a friend? Definitely. It is enlightening. There is a lot to learn from the book. It’s a must read for people thinking of getting married, and for people who want to see how women in other cultures view marriage, or simply for women to think about their own marriage. My favorite part was the description of how a healthy and lasting marriage works: The marriage has windows and doors that the married couple put into place. They agree on the windows–how, where, and when they will let family members and friends in. They also agree on what doors to close to protect their intimacy. Having failed at several marriages, and been successful at one, I would say Gilbert’s analogy is spot on.