But my money's on Committed to be a success in its own right. The premise: Gilbert's just not that into marriage. But marry she must, to secure Brazilian hubs Felipe the right to live in the country they've made their home, so she embarks on finding out what the hell it is about societally recognized partnership that people down through history have found acceptable, even appealing. She comes up with divergent and fascinating tidbits: that early Christians eschewed marriage, a socially conservative writer's thesis that marriage is in itself a subversive act.
I read the book in a day. Gilbert's conversational flow carries you through her life's intimate details, like the transcribed list of personal faults she complied for Felipe. (She includes her need for attention and overly enthusiastic cold shoulder, yet leaves out the inevitability that every iota of their relationship will at one point be discussed by book clubs around the country.) A tone as engaging as hers has rarely been applied to the question of what marriage means in this day and age, and it's refreshing to see that matter given some thought — even if her research is by her own admission not exhaustive. Hey, I probably wouldn't have read the book if it had been.
I wanted to give the book to my newly sprouted crop of married friends, see how my mom reacts to Gilbert's conclusions on child rearing, copy a chapter on the importance of solo travel for my boyfriend to read.
But they'd probably make fun of me. Elizabeth Gilbert? Please, that's chick lit.
YOGA JOURNAL CONFERENCE: AN EVENING WITH ELIZABETH GILBERT
Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m.,
$29–$39 conference attendees, $49–$59 regular admission
5 Embarcadero Center, SF