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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful
I could relate to this book because I also felt the same about marriage. Once divorced, I couldn't imagine wanting to get married again ever. But I was faced with a similar situation in my relationship. I did not qualify to stay in Italy with my boyfriend and try and "make a life with him" so we were forced to get married for Immigration purposes.

Gilbert's...
Published on 21 Feb 2010 by Leah Armstrong

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing after Eat, Pray, Love
I felt a lot of this came across as a textbook on the history of marriage with some personal aspects added for good measure, I did not feel the rapport or compulsion to keep reading which I felt with Eat, Pray, Love. There are some good bits, which I wish there were more of, e.g. talking about the night in Laos at the guide's house, meeting the women in the village in...
Published on 9 May 2010 by Blondie


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, 21 Feb 2010
By 
Leah Armstrong ""expat"" (Genoa, Italy) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I could relate to this book because I also felt the same about marriage. Once divorced, I couldn't imagine wanting to get married again ever. But I was faced with a similar situation in my relationship. I did not qualify to stay in Italy with my boyfriend and try and "make a life with him" so we were forced to get married for Immigration purposes.

Gilbert's search for the meaning of marriage is interesting because she explores other cultural traditions and opinions and leaves you with a feeling of utter confusion. I would like to think that this was a bit on purpose because it exemplifies exactly what she is struggling with, which is not wanting to fall into the North American dillusion that another person "completes us".

As North Americans we have a tendency to "romanticize" about love and marriage and yet this book hits the nail on the head from any "Government State" perspective around the world, which is marriage is meant to keep some sort of order in the world and community. But, at the same time, the rules of "engagement" is a shifting platform with the integration of education for women in otherwise secluded villages, the virtual world of the Internet, affordable travel and Expatriate societies sprouting up everywhere.

Gilbert never loses sight of the emotions she feels for her spouse (good and bad), but as a woman, she struggles with her sense of self and independence. She has taken a leap of faith indeed, but isn't everything in life worth having a bit of a leap of faith?

This book left me with a feeling that Gilbert's plight is not a solitary one. She has spoken for many in this everchanging world we live in. It's inspirational to know that she was not going to take orders from the State sitting down.
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Patchy, but ultimately satisfying, 7 Jan 2010
By 
Julia Flyte - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Like so many others, I was curious to know what happened to Elizabeth and her Brazilian lover Felipe after Eat, Pray, Love ended. As the book opens they are still happily together, but with no intention of marrying. It becomes clear however that they will not be able to live together in the US unless they are married. (Or as Elizabeth puts it, they are "sentenced to marry by the Homeland Security Department").

This book is about how they spend most of the next year traveling in Asia waiting for Felipe's visa to process and for much of this time that Elizabeth researches the concept of marriage. So the book is part love story, part travelogue and part history. Or again as Elizabeth puts it, a memoir (with extra socio-historical bonus sections!) about her efforts to make peace with the institution of marriage.

The results are patchy. The historical/sociological parts are well written and interesting enough, but after a while it feels too much like a lecture. (Especially when Elizabeth puts her case for same sex marriages. I have no issue with her views, but neither am I very interested in them). It's when she's describing her own experiences that Gilbert's writing really shines. There are wonderful accounts of encounters with the local people in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam and I was also totally absorbed in her relationship with Felipe which she describes in a very honest and moving way. While she still has the same chatty and open writing style (which is very easy to read), she comes across as more mature and less self-absorbed this time around.

I'm not sure this book will stay with me in the way that Eat, Pray, Love did, but it was a satisfying read that did also make me think more about my own views on marriage.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Committed, 16 Feb 2011
Just reading the title of this book made it a must for me. However, what I envisaged was a straight jacket accompanied by some kicking and screaming - but perhaps that says more about how I felt about marriage before I read this book. The book follows on from where Eat Pray Love finished and Elizabeth coming to terms with her legal commitment to her new partner and in particular their coming marriage. This held all kinds of demons for her and leads to another psychological voyage (although in not quite the same way as Eat Pray Love - do not expect volume two). Having already agreed that marriage was not for them Elizabeth and Felipe are forced to reconsider when the American authorities refuse Felipe entry to the US. This is the spark that starts the exploration. Elizabeth needs to justify the marriage to herself and in this book she faces her demons through her research of the history, psychosocial aspects and the anthropology of marriage. It is not such an emotional story as Eat Pray Love the book seems to come more from the head than the soul.
However, I will be saving this book for my daughters' 18th birthdays although I think that someone a little older will possibly appreciate it more. What could have been rather boring was transformed into an entertaining, enlightening and even a compelling book - once you get over the different approach used. Her easy to read, conversational style gave me much food for thought - perhaps I will risk removing the self imposed straight jacket now!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A passionate, intelligent, important book, 2 Nov 2010
By 
Niki Collins-queen, Author "author" (Forsyth, Georgia USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir "Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage" begins when a U.S. Government Official detains Felipe, Elizabeth's boyfriend, at an American border crossing. They were given a choice: either get married or Felipe would never be allowed to enter the country again.
Since they were sentenced to marry Elizabeth decided it's time to confront her fears and make peace with the idea of matrimony before she jumped into it again.
For the next ten months, while traveling in Southeast Asia with Felipe, a man seventeen years her senior, Elizabeth researched, wrote and talked to others about the befuddling, vexing, contradictory yet stubbornly enduring institution of marriage.
With great wit, wisdom, insight and compassion Elizabeth, at age 37, researched the history of western monogamous marriage and examined the questions of compatibility, fidelity, risk and responsibility.
Her inspirational stories speak to our souls. I particularly resonated with Elizabeth and Felipe's flagging morale after six months of no movement on his immigration case. Separated from his gemstone and jewelry import business in America, Felipe was unable to earn money or make plans.
Feeling powerless and totally dependent on Elizabeth and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
he became increasingly jittery, irritable and ominously tense. Elizabeth buried her own frustrations under a sunny demeanor. Their tension reached a peak on a twelve-hour bus ride through Laos to an archaeological site. Elizabeth's writing soars in her vivid descriptions of their conflict and the bus ride. Felipe became numb to the unbearable heat and the manic aggression and near collisions of the bus driver who almost dumped them over cliffs.
Trying to defuse the tension Elizabeth tried some practical strategies from her past to resolve the dispute. Felipe finally broke through their heated silence by taking her hand and suggesting they be careful. "Being careful" is their code for practicing preemptive conflict resolution. He explained how when people get tired fights happen. Choosing words carefully can arrest an argument before it begins.
Her insight, honesty and openness about their relationship is breathtaking.
Elizabeth's observation that most of us have a "default emotion" is fascinating. She shared how her Cambodian guide had a default emotion of quiet disapproval. After two days she could barely open her mouth she felt so foolish, pathetic and bloodless.
She uses the story of her own life to explore why many American's get married and divorced more often than any other nation. She says American society believes in two completely contradictory ideas about marriage. Both have their origins in ancient Greek and Hebrew thinking. From the Greeks we inherited our ideas about secular humanism, the sanctity of individual democracy, equality, personal liberty, scientific reason, intellectual freedom and open mindedness. From the Hebrews we inherited tribalism, faith, obedience and respect. The Hebrew credo is clannish, patriarchal, moralistic, ritualistic and suspicious of outsiders. The collective is more important than the individual, morality is more important than happiness and vows are inviolable. Hebrew thinking sees the world as a clear play between good and evil, right and wrong with God firmly on "our" side. There's no gray area. Elizabeth says American society is an amalgam of both. Our legal code and sense of fairness is mostly Greek and our moral code and sense of justice in mostly Hebrew.
"Committed" is a passionate, intelligent, important book written by a woman who knows suffering and redemption. Her story is our story in it's rich humanity, humor and zest for life.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not chick lit, 17 May 2010
By 
A. Costain (Mallorca) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In my view the biggest error made by the publishers of this book was the cover. It leads one to believe it is a much lighter 'chick lit' type of read than it really is. For me, this nearly put me off buying it, and for others who have reviewed it who clearly wanted 'chick lit', it has left them disappointed.

I was not at all disappointed: this is a well-written, well researched and rounded book about marriage, its history, its cultural and emotional implications as well as its religious (and non-religious!) background. Elizabeth writes as a clearly mature, liberal individual and intersperses fact with her own take on the subject in a well-balanced way. I very much enjoyed it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing after Eat, Pray, Love, 9 May 2010
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I felt a lot of this came across as a textbook on the history of marriage with some personal aspects added for good measure, I did not feel the rapport or compulsion to keep reading which I felt with Eat, Pray, Love. There are some good bits, which I wish there were more of, e.g. talking about the night in Laos at the guide's house, meeting the women in the village in Vietnam and her grandmother's story. But it was not enough to keep me gripped and keep reading...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its explores marriage. Well., 23 Mar 2010
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If you ever asked yourself "Why" in regards to marriage, this is a fascinating book taking in our cultural biases, the history and purpose of the institution, and Elizabeth's personal anecdotes about her and future husbands struggles with immigration issues. I loved this book, but it isn't like Eat, Pray, Love. Don't buy it just because you liked that one. By it because you are either curious how the EPL story ended or would rather not take marriage for granted.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and smart! Consciously Committed!, 3 Mar 2010
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After enjoying Eat, Love and Pray, I was very happy to see the second part come along. Funny, realistic, deep and thorough. The author covers marriage from multiple perspectives and reconciles with it in a very candid and entertaining way that keeps you hooked until the very end. Good reading for someone who is looking into getting married again or for the first time...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A personal journey for the reader, 26 Oct 2010
All books are a personal journey for the reader; we cannot help but put ourselves in the heroine's shoes and wonder what we would do in the same circumstances.

I have a confession to make; I haven't yet read Eat, Pray, Love (I must be one of a very small minority!) So Committed was my first opportunity to 'hear' Elizabeth's voice. One of the hardest things for an author to do I think, is firstly, to find their own voice, and secondly, to be consistent with their voice and remain true to themselves. As Elizabeth herself admits very readily, she had already almost written the book once, but it didn't feel right, she didn't feel like 'herself' in it. So she threw it away and started again! Brava! As a result, what Elizabth has given us is a personal reflection of her own journey into the meaning of marriage for her, through which we can explore our own personal journey of what marriage and committment mean to us.

Not everyone feels comfortable with personal journeys of exploration into the psyche, and it's evident from some of the other reviews that some people are looking for a slightly different book to the one that Elizabth has written. And that's fine, of course! It says more about them and where they are, than it does about Elizabeth.

Personally, as a psychologist and as a woman who has been considering the meaning of my own marriage (after 17 years with a man I have married 3 times!), I found the book insightful and thought provoking.

I loved the book ............... and I shall be getting a divorce.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars commited A love story, 4 May 2013
By 
iris (west midlands uk) - See all my reviews
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I have started to read this book and already know that this book is life changing .. even within the first chapter it already approaches the attitudes towards marriage, and the commitment we show to our partners even before the big day itself -and I promise you this book will make you stop and think , it will make you really consider who you are and how you change your behaviour because of commitment to a partner and then what else it does is seriously makes you look at what marriage is really about Elizabeth Gilbert is an outstanding author and also please do see her talk on TED talks because it really is inspirational .
before you read this also read eat pray love or watch the film , because the film is spiritual and really is quite beautiful and moving cant wait to read all of this book but already feel like right from the word go it really does make you ponder quite a lot and to question your attitudes to being part of a couple or getting married in fact this book is highly recommended for both cohabiting couples or engaged couples considering marriage !
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