Eat, Pray, Love & Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert

Two years ago I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat  Pray Love and couldn’t put it down. It was like Roberta Flack’s song words…..telling my whole life with his words. Baring her soul and sorrow about her divorce brought up a lot of “stuff” for me about my own divorce, so I followed her “story” with rapt attention, as she traipsed through Italy, India, and Indonesia in search of herself and in search of peace.

Being a best seller about the topic of divorce sounds a little crazy, but Gilbert’s writing must have appealed to millions of other people, divorced or not, mostly women I would think, who found her writing, her honesty, and her passion for getting herself right with the world both engaging and engrossing.  She writes as though you were in the room with her and she is thinking out loud.  Also, her journey to different countries, with vivid descriptions, adds texture to the book.

Here is a quote from the end of the book that gives you an idea of her honesty:

“I think about the woman I have become lately, about the life that I am now living, and about how much I always wanted to be this person and live the life, liberated from the farce of pretending to be anyone other than myself.”

At the end of this book, she has met her future husband and is wrestling with remarriage, which becomes the focus of her newest book, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage.

In this book, the history of marriage is what Gilbert uses to tie in with her own feelings about marriage, which she resists and resists. Her boyfriend Felipe also resists, because both have been through horrendous divorces and are afraid of marriage.  But in order for Felipe to live in America, they must marry. While waiting to do all the paperwork and investigation of both parties, Elizabeth researches marriage (and divorce) in different cultures as well as within her own family, discussing her mother and her grandmother with utter frankness.

Each chapter starts with the word Marriage followed by: and Surprises, and Expectations, and History, etc. The final chapter is the story of her wedding and moving to New Jersey with her new husband.  But just as studying marriage does not make you an expert on the subject any more than going to a garage makes you a car, Gilbert finally has to take a leap of faith that both she and Felipe will survive/thrive in their joining. ( I understand their hesitation, because marriage means compromise and commitment, and the second time around I was also very wary.)

I loved both these books because they were unabashedly honest, revealing, and endearing.  Baring your soul not once, but twice, is a delicate dance with your heart and your mind. Gilbert has done it so well that I would now like read her previous two books.  Both Eat Pray Love and Committed are best sellers and can be found in book  stores, at the library, and online. Both are also published by Viking Penguin Press.

P.S. In keeping with the theme of HOPE for this year, I think both these books have strong elements of hope in them.

3 thoughts on “Eat, Pray, Love & Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert

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