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Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage Hardcover – January 5, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Some readers may not consider this work an adequate sequel to EPL for stylistic reasons - the storyline is simpler, the tone more somber, and the laughs rarer. But I'm not one of them. For me (and I can only speak for myself), EPL was a pleasure to read because it helped me learn more about myself and my relationship to relationships, which is precisely what "Committed" succeeds at doing. What could be more useful than a book that celebrates not only marriage, but the self inquiry and interpersonal work required to sustain one? For that matter, what could be more romantic?
Not so fast, Gilbert warns us. Do we completely know what we are getting into? What happens to us as independent beings when we marry? What makes a marriage more likely to succeed, and what makes it more likely to fail? What are the economic, social, and legal ties that bind us and do we even understand the significance of them? How are we able to somehow throw love in the mix as well? Extremely timely and pertinent questions with serious implications. Some of the most interesting and thought provoking aspects of the book- a glimpse into the lives of the Hmong women in Asia (who view marriage not as a solution to all of life's problems and seem to have no qualms whatsoever about this), how marriage was viewed by different religions throughout the centuries- not always so 'sacred', and the way marriage has been used to secure money, power, and property throughout history. Quite simply, Gilbert explains this institution has been pulled, prodded, and changed for centuries- yet still it remains. There is something, then that draws us still to marry. Gilbert (thrown rather harshy into marriage by the US government) walks away with a brokered peace with marriage and a deeper understanding of what it means to be married- as she embarks on her own marriage. The reader has a deeper understanding as well.Read more ›
Most folks who have been divorced are highly reluctant to trot down the aisle again. . .will we be more successful this time?
Gilbert and "Felipe" were broke and broken at the end of their first marriages. They were gun-shy until the INS got out the shotgun.
The book is equal part examination of how the US government can create havoc in people's most intimate relationships as it is an examination of what it takes to have an enduring marriage and to experience unconditional love and true intimacy.
If you are looking for a starry-eyed romantic look at love, this isn't the book for you.
But, if you are serious about creating an enduring, mature, loving, intimate relationship, this book will give you much to ponder and discuss with the love of your life. It would be an excellent gift for any engaged couple.
In her preface to Committed, Gilbert says she originally wrote a 500-page version of this book, then discarded it. She implies it was too pedantic, so the second time she wrote it imagining only an audience of close women friends. I believe this gives the book a talky, chatty quality that does not translate well to the written page. There are too many "anyways", redundancies and extraneous phrases. If she were speaking this text to us, we could experience her gestures and facial expressions, inflection and dramatic pauses; the audiovisuals of conversation would keep us interested. But on the two-dimensional page, I found myself growing impatient and wishing she had thinned the verbiage by 30 per cent.
I also felt uncomfortable with the amount of very personal information she revealed about her husband and her parents. A confessional approach to one's own life by a memoirist is one thing; to expose and discuss other peoples' intimate feelings and issues seems exploitative.
Another problem was the lack of sourcing for her valuable factual data, particularly, her fascinating material on the evolution of marriage. This information could be very useful to call out the "ancient tradition" excuse for social repression. But without sources, it's much less useful. She did list about 20 authors in one sentence in her acknowledgements but this doesn't help much.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fabulous review of the quandaries that commitment brings about in all of us. Well done!Published 16 hours ago by Amazon Customer
I would have enjoyed it more if the author put less research about the history of marriage in the novel.Published 2 days ago by Denise Bory
It was nice to see how Ms Gilbert's love story ended...but she took so long and be labored the point that it just makes you think "get married already."Published 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
Very important book for women certainly but even more for guys. For men, it gives the essential views that women have that we seldom figure out on our own.Published 26 days ago by Kenneth M Nail
It was nice to see how Ms Gilbert's love story ended...but she took so long and be labored the point that it just makes you think "get married already."Published 28 days ago by Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family
THIS was an amazing book. I haven't read something this honest in a very long time. Truth be told, it moves a bit slow at the beginning but it is all worthwhile by the end. Read morePublished 29 days ago by TheWuda
Not only is this an entertaining and soul searching story, it is also very informative. For many of us who are questioning the institution of marriage itself, it offers some very... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sandra J Gallagher
It was interesting, but, tiring by the end. I was anxious for a sequel after Eat, Pray & Love, which I loved.Published 1 month ago by Constance M. Barnes
Love this book and recommend it to all people about to be married.Published 1 month ago by Samantha Plateau