November 12, 2010

My Thoughts on Committed

Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert

I finished this book awhile ago, but I wanted to wait until another round of book club to post my thoughts. However, book club never happened in October or November, so here you are! I loved Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and so I picked up her latest novel, Committed.

In the book Elizabeth tries to come to terms with the idea of marriage. She is abruptly forced into the idea of marriage at the beginning of the book so that her boyfriend, Felipe aka the Brazilian guy from Eat, Pray, Love, will be allowed to stay in the Unites States for extended periods of time. Her first marriage ended in a terrible divorce so she doesn't really like the idea of doing it again.

Throughout the book she discusses marriage from many perspectives, including ideas from history, other (non-western) cultures, commitment, etc. Here are a few of the lines I found particularly thought-provoking:
  • A therapist friend of mine defines this problem simply as "the condition by which all of my single patients secretly long to be married, and all of my married patients secretly long to be single."
  • If you honestly want to have a society in which people choose their own partners on the basis of personal affection, then you must prepare yourselves for the inevitable. There will be broken hearts; there will be broken lives.
  • This is the singular fantasy of human intimacy: that one plus one will somehow, someday, equal one.
As a single woman reading the book helped me to see new ideas about commitment, relationships and marriage from kind of an "outsider" perspective. A great book and one that you can always put down after a chapter and come back whenever!

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