Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Committed: book review

OOooh! This is my hundredth post! That said, I wish I had a meatier subject matter for you today but too bad: I chose to write today about the book I just finished, "Committed" by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Gilbert is one of those women I wish was my best friend. This list includes: Jenny McCarthy, Elizabeth Gilbert, Carmen Electra, Reese Witherspoon and Alexa the yoga instructor at Shanti Yoga in Whitehorse. We would have light-hearted, joyful brunches and then sit in a circle and have tearful, honest, hug-filled, soul-baring talks about life lessons. Then we would all get drunk and pretend to make out with each other at some swanky club, making all the boys and other girls jealous of our uber-tight girl bond.
I have read and re-read Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love like a billion times. I bought my first copy at an airport bookstore in Philidelphia on a delayed flight layover. I read it and lent it out so many times I bought a second copy. I also bought copies for all my bridesmaids and mother when I got married, because I loved the book so much I felt like it was the ultimate gift for any woman anywhere. Anytime I feel like I need a little help setting the direction of my own life or re-evaluating my own course, I re-read Eat, Pray, Love. It's as close to my personal life coach as I can afford.
So expectations for Committed were high. I saw it in the display window at my fave Whitehorse book store (Mac's Fireweed books) and stormed in to buy it, even though it was brand-new and thus only released in hardcover (mucho expensive!). I didn't know it was to be coming out, nor that it had been written, nor what it was about. I literally saw it was a follow-up to Eat, Pray, Love, and bought it without reading the inside jacket.
Now that I am finished, I am happy, but not shaken by a personal earthquake like after Eat, Pray, Love. I am glad to know how her story turned out, and happy to see that she took marriage very seriously. She did much research to convince herself and her readers why she could agree to participate in it again after her messy divorce. (This is not a spoiler. The book is called Committed, after all)
This book gave me a new perspective on marriage and its function: I view it now much more as something that is shaped by me than as something that shapes me. I place much less pressure on it to provide any measure of happiness or fulfillment, realizing now that that is my job, and Rich's job. I think the best nugget of wisdom I took from it was what she found to be the best cheat-proof advice: Don't tell secrets to anyone else that are meant for your spouse. Don't confide in, don't create intimacy with someone other than your spouse. When you do, and you keep it from your spouse, you are on a slippery slope to adultery.
I wish I could introduce this book to a book club so we could all discuss and dissect it. (Not in Ross River, I'm afraid). There are so many ways to read it and digest it, I want to know what others think without reading pretentious book reviews of it online!
I recommend it. I placed it on my new bookshelf, and now I move on to "Push" by Sapphire.

3 comments:

  1. I love Reese too, so cute and quirky. She seems like she'd be a fun friend.

    Oh Mac's! I miss that place.

    A friend lent me Eat, Pray, Love and it sat there collecting dust until I realized I'd had it too long and felt I had to get it back. Now that I hear more great things about it, it's going to be back on my list. I love things that spark introspection and it sounds like that one will do the trick :)

    What about starting an online book club via a blog?

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  2. I may resign myself to it...but there's something to be said for the personal interaction, live discussion, and snacks that someone brings! :)I've only got maybe 3 months left in Ross Rive, so I may just wait till we hit the big Whitehorse city. If there are any interested parties in an online one though, I'm in.

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  3. You know this 2nd book of her sounds interesting, I think I'd be willing to give her a 2nd try.
    I hate to tell you this, but I am of one of the many people that could not finish E.P.L. I liked the first part of the book where she travelled throughout Italy-however I found it hard to sympathize with her while she continued to travel and live such an extravagant life. Sorry Sarah...hope we can still be friends ;o)

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