November 15, 2010

I don’t generally read books on the Bestseller list.  Even if one is good, it rarely lives up to its hype.   I did not read Eat Pray Love.  I saw the movie, but I’d do some crazy things to spend quality time with Javier Bardem.

But a few months back I heard an NPR interview of Liz Gilbert about her recent release, Committed.  Having married at a young age and changed considerably over that 15+ years, I was curious.  As long as the author wasn’t Elizabeth Taylor, I was interested.

And I liked it.

I see why so many readers enjoy her writing – an easy and intelligent and humorous voice, much like what I heard of her on NPR.  While not a mother herself, she looks closely into how motherhood impacts the life of a woman and the experience of a wife and infuses that with meaningful stories from many sources, including her own family.  She looks closely at the economic and social impacts of marriage on both parties.  And best of all, she asks more questions than she draws conclusions.  Her conclusions are her own, not intended for everyone else.  I have always believed that marriages are as individual as the people in them and her work recognizes that.

I can also see the criticisms of her as self-absorbed, self-focused…blah, blah, blah.  But that didn’t bother me because it was an exploration of her own issues with marriage.  Her experience and perspective are likely not rare.  And before marriage IS the time for self-absorption.

She points out at the beginning that this is a personal work, not a scholarly one.  But her study of marriage is one I think anyone should read before actually tying that very serious knot.  Imagine if we all entered marriage only after such careful consideration.


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