Ok so I am amongst those readers who did not read, “Eat, Pray, Love” and now I want to, and that’s primarily because I have finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest book, “Committed”. As the title pretty much suggests that this book is about marriage and what does it entail being married or divorced to a person.
Elizabeth had just gone through a terrible divorce at the beginning of “Eat, Pray, Love” and had just about started living life to the fullest with Felipe, a Brazalian Born Man of Australian citizenship – who she found at the end of the book. They were looking forward to their new life and swore fidelity in its truest form to each other. However, it was not as easy as it would seem for them. The United States Government gave them a simple choice: Either get married or Felipe would never be allowed to enter the country again, and this is where Committed begins.
Felipe is packed off out of the country and he and Elizabeth meet a lot outside the country and this is where she researched not only on the so-called holy history of matrimony and how has it come to be what it is today, but also gain an introspective version of what it really means to her and the people she knows.
The book is spread over eight chapters and each chapter deals with a different perspective on marriage. The first one for instance speaks of the surprises (or rather shocks) that it holds, the second of expectations, the third of its history (which is quite an eye-opener in more than one way), the fourth on infatuation with the loved one, the fifth on women and their role in wedlock, the sixth on autonomy and marriage, seventh on subversion and last but not the least on the ceremony.
I must say that I started reading this book on a lark. I was not expecting anything out of it, because I had been warned by a very dear friend not to read, “Eat, Pray, Love” and here I was embarking on reading about marriage, which was ironic as it will be years before my boyfriend and I can get married in our country. I am so excited that I read this book. It speaks of marriage without attaching any melodrama to it. Its direct and calls a spade a spade. Elizabeth does not hesitate to write what she honestly feels about marriage and what it does to her. I love that and so will other readers as it comes directly from the heart and the mind. There is no mincing of words here.
For instance, here is her stance on gay weddings:
Still it is true that many same-sex couples want nothing more than to join society as fully integrated, socially responsible, family-centred, taxpaying, Little League-Coaching, nation-serving, respectably, married citizens. So why not welcome them in?
And here is my personal favourite on expectations:
Or, at least, perhaps I was asking too much of marriage. Perhaps I was loading a far heavier cargo of expectation onto the creaky old boat of matrimony than that strange vessel had ever been built to accommodate in the first place.
And the story continues with a woman’s journey to discovering Marriage as a sanctimonious institution. The need to know what is it all about (I love that because she was married once which ended badly and yet the need to know more because you know then person is right, don’t you?), what it means to take vows or is it just something that you do as part of a ceremony?
I am going to recommend this book to everyone I meet who ever wants to get married – only because we have a long way to go before we fully realize what it is all about and may be this book will help. In the meanwhile, I think I am going to read, “Eat, Pray, Love”.