I don’t know much about Elizabeth Gilbert as a writer as I don’t read magazines like GQ or Esquire, Allure or Real Simple, because I don’t read short stories or articles, not regularly at any rate, instead mostly confining myself to historical novels.
So COMMITTED was a pleasant surprise for me. As with all my reading these days, I experienced it in the audio version, because I no longer enjoy reading text, whereas I love having a voice reading to me while I do the cooking, clean house or flop.
What grabbed me, of course, was Liz Gilbert’s voice. I am not sure exactly why I found it so compelling, but I loved her artful casualness, as if she were just talking with you over a cup of coffee.
COMMITTED takes up the thread of the story that began in EAT, PRAY, LOVE when, after a devastating divorce, the author takes time to go to Italy to eat pasta, visit an Ashram in India to pray, and fall in love with “Felipe” (her second husband José Nunes) in Indonesia.
Here, we learn how the TSA plays matchmaker to two divorcées who are marriage-avoidant. All Liz and her beau want to do is make a home together sans mariage in the US of A.
However, the laws in the (very conservative) USA are discriminatory, discriminating AGAINST people who want to cohabit and NOT marry. If Liz had been a British citizen or French or even perhaps Italian, German or Norwegian, she wouldn’t have had to get all bent out of shape at the thought of actually having to COMMIT herself to ONE OTHER PERSON, as those countries are much more hospitable to co-habitation.
However, here we are in the US of A, and if one wants to live in Philadelphia with one’s boyfriend, one HAS TO MARRY, otherwise said boyfriend (Brazilian born but with Australian citizenship) will be deported, NEVER TO COME BACK TO THE UNITED STATES AGAIN.
Liz doesn’t really talk about how biased all this is, nor how draconian US Government agencies can be, when they choose. Instead, she focuses all her energy on talking herself into this second marriage.
I should mention that if you look her up in Wikipedia, you will see that indeed, she did have reason to be concerned, as she and José (called Felipe in the book) did abandon their marriage in 2016, after just 9 years. It seems Liz called it quits because she fell in love with a woman who had terminal cancer. Apparently, her first marriage ended in a similar way, Liz again walking out because of (this time) another man. If you want to know more about all this, you should read “Confessions of a Seduction Addict” a 2015 article she wrote for the New York Times.
Despite all that, this book is a very valuable resource. It combines a potted history of the institution of marriage together with Liz’s provocative and thoughtful insights. I really think that anyone considering marriage should read this book. Five stars.Tap here for YOUR copy of Liz Gilbert’s COMMITTED