Monday, February 01, 2010

Love, true love, has brought us together today

Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I finished Committed, and am at an understanding with the book. I would say this book is worth a read, but as a reader, one must be committed to the book. A reader has to go into this book with an open mind (a few of Gilbert's views may be too liberal for some) and a reader absolutely must finish the book. This is not the type of book one can pick up, read a few chapters of and then put down. You'll walk away with an incomplete viewpoint and it isn't fair to you nor is it fair to Gilbert to not finish this book once you start it. In this way, the book itself is an excellent metaphor to marriage and relationships.So, why did I read the book? There were no imminent questions about marriage in my life requiring reflection. Italian and I are happy in our marriage and have really grown up together, supporting each other along the way. Honestly, I picked up the book because I wanted to know if Elizabeth got married. Why did I care? Because it seemed obvious to me they were in love at the end of Eat, Pray, Love. That was it. The book, then, was a surprise in its discourse on the institute of marriage, and I realized while reading it that I have also separated the concepts of being bound by love to another person and the social construct of legally binding two people into a specialized contract. I've viewed the contractual arrangement of marriage and the aspects of love and intimacy as two distinct parts of being married, and they happen at different times. Sometimes, one is even missing.Overall, without "giving away" the book and without betraying the intimate aspects of my marriage, I would say Gilbert's book is a modern look at marriage and her reflection on the topic is at a level often missing in today's world. Just like a good marriage, if you start it, you do have to invest time into it, hearing out her arguments, and seeing how she finds peace. For those getting married, it's a good read to spark discussion. For those married, it's a good read to spark discussion. For those contemplating if they ever want to get married, I think this book will be especially poignant. Getting married is a very public display of an extremely personally decision, and Gilbert's public display of her struggle with the decision may be relevant or insightful.

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