Book Review: Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert

My summary: 

Committed follows on from where we left Liz in Eat Pray Love, having found love with a man named Felipe. Now, committed to each other, but not wanting to marry due to previous bad divorces and matrimonial scepticism, the two are forced to marry so that Felipe, a Brazilian traveller, can live in America with Liz. While travelling together in South East Asia for a year, waiting for their immigration case to be processed, Liz goes on a journey to reconcile her thoughts on marriage. From her research and experiences, Liz delves into the history of matrimony as she tries to find peace about her own marriage-to-be.

The book was a page-turner due to how delightful it was and my own questions about marriage. I always looked forward to continuing the journey with Liz.

The book is delightful because of Liz’s voice as an author:

  • She’s honest. She’s vulnerable, sometimes raw. She doesn’t sugar-coat herself. She’s therefore relatable and a reliable narrator.
  • I can see myself in her. She’s a bit of an over-thinker, a deep thinker, perceptive and incredibly self-aware.
  • She’s funny. She tells it like it is and can present people and situations in ways that literally made me laugh out loud.
  • She’s warm. Again, there is a warmth to the way she presents people and situations. I especially think of how she tells the story of Keo, his family and lifestyle. I both laughed and cried.
  • She comes from a place of questioning and is open about her doubts and biases. She comes from a place of wanting to learn and the reader gets to learn with her.

What I got out of it as a writer: 

  • I noticed Liz’s use of language. The imagery and poetic nature was done with a light touch but was so effective in conveying emotion and meaning. The way she strung words together communicated so much more than just those words. Basically, the book reads nicely. It’s a smooth and easy read. It made me want to focus on my word selection and how I string words together to let each word do as much work as it can.

What I got out of it as a reader: 

  • I got to travel and experience different cultures and meet new people. I was amazed at how a book could transport me like that so I could get to know the Hmong people and discover what a Laotian way of life looks like. It gave me greater understanding, awareness, compassion and grace for people and different cultures. What a gift!

What I got out of it for life: 

  • So many things! Not only has it helped me work through some of my own thoughts about marriage but it’s given me concepts that will help me in life and ideas I want to put into practice. For example: The porcupine dance, the trading of stories, the sharing of your worst flaws, and the benefit of asking people the questions you wrestle with to see if their answers help you.

My rating: 4.5/5

My recommendation:

If you have questions about marriage, read it.

If you liked Eat Pray Love and/or Liz’ writing style, read it.

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