Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed (2010)

Like Dorothy / Rebecca, I didn’t especially plan to read Committed. Because I had finished Eat Pray Love with some mixed feelings and hadn’t been much engaged in her very personal spiritual quest. The book sort of fell into my arms one recent sunny afternoon where I was looking for comfort read. And I’m very glad it did, because as a few people I know, I end up loving Committed a lot more than her first worldwide bestseller.

Obviously, I can relate to Committed a lot more than to her previous memoir. I’m married, and not going through a spiritual crisis after a painful divorce. And the book comes at the right time for me as today is my sixth wedding anniversary! It seems the perfect book to give to a bride or to a married woman (I’m not sure Gilbert’s funny, perky, but at the same time extremely chatty, anxious and demonstrative voice would go down well with a man—this book is targeted 100% towards women).

I remember vividly the few months before our wedding, when I was crazily researching marriage everywhere, especially online. I was worried about becoming that strange creature called “wife”. I was worried about what made some marriage work while a lot of others do fail. Well, Elizabeth Gilbert is not the only one to calm her doubts and questions by a flurry of research. The only thing is, I didn’t get to travel to South-East Asia for research (sigh of envy). But I have travelled some of these places on my own and the travel pages of Committed are a fond memory for me too (especially the rough few days in Cambodia).

There are still moments, like in Eat Pray Love, where I just want to shake her a bit and say: sshhh! There are also other moments when I wish she would be less US-centric, but I guess this kind of essays and memoirs are not a European forte and I must be thankful that someone as witty as Gilbert clears up the subject. This time around, the research gets a bigger part than the navel-gazing bits, so that the book really comes out as a perfect mix between entertainment and essay.

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