because none of us is fucking up like we think we are, is what i'm trying to say

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Committed.


Okay. Let's just get this tiny fact out of the way before we start: Elizabeth Gilbert can do absolutely no wrong in my eyes. She is a god with a lowercase 'g'. (I don't want to cause offense to anyone.) I LOVE ELIZABETH GILBERT.

So, at the end of Eat, Pray, Love Gilbert meets a Brazilian chap with whom she seems to rather like. In Committed, we learn that she *really* likes him and so for three years they have been living a transatlantic lifestyle in the U.S, Brazil and Australia where her bloke has citizenship. And then one day BAM! The U.S. decide that unless her fella is legally married to Gilbert, he can no longer come and visit. Because they say so.

The book is the exploration of Gilbert's feelings about love and marriage. She 'failed' once before, so how can it be different this time? She'd rather not get married at all, but the U.S. government is pretty adamant that this is the only solution, and so she delves into the history of the institution of marriage, the traditional roles of women within marriage, and looks at examples of couples who she thinks have done it well- and those that haven't- to see what she can learn.

I am ambivalent about marriage myself, and so it was refreshing to read an account of a respected female writer whom freely admits that she doesn't know how to feel about what lies ahead of her and what that means for her. Gilbert seldom concludes her thoughts with satisfying, ribbon-tied "And so this is the answer!" endings. She asks the questions, and that helped me to form my own opinions on top of the (wonderfully worded, full of personality and rich with humour) information presented to me by Gilbert as her reader.

All in all? She is still my God. Only now she gets capitalised.
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