our book club reads happy books!


on May 25, 2012

It was book club night last night. As usual it was a fun night. Unfortunately, I can’ t say the same about our book this month. It was “Committed: a skeptic makes peace with marriage” by Elizabeth Gilbert.
I had read Gilbert’s previous book, Eat, Pray, Love”, and had liked it. I had been surprised that the section that I thought I would like least – “pray”- was actually my favorite part. I found her immersion in eastern religion fascinating. I read that book at a time when I had just started doing yoga – something I had always considered too “new age-y” for me. So I guess the fact that I had just recently dipped my toe in the Eastern religion water made it more interesting to me. Because, although I tried yoga because it was offered at a gym and I told myself it was an exercise class, yoga is defiantly more than that. It is still something I do ( ok, I don’t say I “practice yoga” yet), and I have come to appreciate the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of it. Hey any exercise class that ends with a nap and the beautiful parting word “namaste” is ok with me. (I have read many interpretations of namaste, but the one I love is “the spirit in me honors the spirit in you.”).
Unfortunately, the section from “Eat, Pray, Love” I liked the least was the “love” part. This was surprising to me, because I am absolutely in favor of love and looked forward to that section. I said unfortunately because “Committed” basically picks up where this love story ended.
I will say this about Elizabeth Gilbert: I love the stories she tells about the people she meets in her travels. And I have admiration for her ability to connect with people.
But this was our first book club book that I really struggled to finish. Parts of it I found boring, parts of it I found condescending to married people. And her endless and repetitious analysis of her and Felipe’s relationship I found excruciating. To tell the truth, I found myself avoiding blogging, for fear I would appear as self absorbed as Elizabeth Gilbert appeared to me in this book. Which I feel bad about, because I’m sure she is a very nice person, and I wish her all the best. Namaste.


2 responses to “Committed…

  1. stacy says:

    I agree Pat. I loved her stories about the people she met and hearing about the way marriage is treated in other cultures – but actually felt like even by the end, after all her research, that she totally did not get marriage or the desire to have children and I could not figure out why she was fighting it. Or even if it was not for her, why she could not see that it was a positive for others. I can only hope all works out in her’s and she finally sees the light – but only rights a brief article about it. Yes it is hard work, and yes children are a sacrifice – but, ah, the joys – those immeasurable joys. Like preparing for a race for weeks and then making it a cross the finish line – makes it all worth the pain (or so I hear, since I am a non-runner by choice!) Or watching a child through major mile stones… or having someone to share ups and downs with – and knowing they are as committed as you are to seeing them through. I will say that it does seem that the controversial books lead to the more lively discussions. And you could almost see the anger on some of our faces over some of her passages. I guess even us lovers of fluff can use a good riling up on occasion!

  2. […] 5/12 ” Committed: a sceptic makes peace with marriage” by Elizabeth Gilbert at Janet’s  […]

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