Book Review of Elizabeth Gilbert's Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Book Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

Reading Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert was such a welcome break during what is essentially an incredibly busy time of year on our dairy farm. To give you an idea of what I mean by busy: Last week, I saw my husband for 20 minutes and most of those he was falling asleep sitting at the counter attempting to eat something I reheated for him for supper. It was 5 in the morning on his birthday and he had just gotten in from helping our neighbors get their corn off the fields before the rain came. I've received 8 texts from him during this time. They've been short and super romantic (insert eye roll here):

1)could someone bring me coffee?
2)remind me to pay the cellphone bill
3) lunch? deliver?
4) don't wait up
5) need udder balm - u run?
6) 2558
7) hot coffee today
8) got ibuprofen?

****no idea about number 6....I think he fell asleep because the question was "are you awake yet?"

This is NOT a romantic time of year. I sleep alone. I worry he's too tired and I try not to think about the dangers of operating heavy equipment on no sleep. I question our marriage. I wonder when I will be a priority. I find joy in our children, our home, my friends, and I busy myself with canning, cleaning, and baking.

I love Elizabeth Gilbert as an author and have been meaning to pick up one of her more recent books. After coming across Committed, I felt drawn to the opportunity for a little reflection and self discovery. After all...before I married my farmer, I swore I would be single forever. Who doesn't love a good book written by a kindred skeptic?

I thoroughly enjoyed Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert. This is a book you can read and relate to whether you are pro-marriage, anti-marriage, in the midst of marriage, wishing for that special someone, etc... (in fact, I have a friend going through a divorce, and I think I'll gift her a copy). One reviewer wrote that this book has a talky/chatty quality and I would agree. Gilbert explains early on that she wrote Committed as if her audience were only a small group of her close friends. The intimate feeling of a small gathering of friends is felt throughout. Gilbert's writing is completely open and honest, with a vulnerable feeling. She explores her personal life and allows readers to get close and personal with her emotions which begs the reader to do the same in their own life.

Committed is a very different book and shouldn't be compared to Eat, Pray, Love. Gilbert says so much in the opening. To be fair, I enjoyed both books though Committed is a much more personal experience where reader and author get very personal.

On a personal note, when I finished I felt renewed and able to clearly see that harvest time on the farm is just a season. This isn't the most glamorous season for my marriage, but absence makes the heart grow fonder. Committed was a great reminder of all the great reasons I am deeply in love with my husband. This was just the book I needed right now. I'm putting it back on the bookshelf with a reminder to read it again next fall!

Product Details
Hardcover: 285 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult; 1st edition (January 5, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0670021652
ISBN-13: 978-0670021659
Available on Amazon

Official Book Summary (from Amazon):
At the end of her bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian-born man of Australian citizenship who’d been living in Indonesia when they met. Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal fidelity to each other, but also swore to never, ever, under any circumstances get legally married. (Both were survivors of previous bad divorces. Enough said.) But providence intervened one day in the form of the United States government, which—after unexpectedly detaining Felipe at an American border crossing—gave the couple a choice: they could either get married, or Felipe would never be allowed to enter the country again. Having been effectively sentenced to wed, Gilbert tackled her fears of marriage by delving into this topic completely, trying with all her might to discover through historical research, interviews, and much personal reflection what this stubbornly enduring old institution actually is. Told with Gilbert’s trademark wit, intelligence and compassion, Committed attempts to “turn on all the lights” when it comes to matrimony, frankly examining questions of compatibility, infatuation, fidelity, family tradition, social expectations, divorce risks and humbling responsibilities. Gilbert’s memoir is ultimately a clear-eyed celebration of love with all the complexity and consequence that real love, in the real world, actually entails.

Author Bio for Elizabeth Gilbert:
Elizabeth Gilbert is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love, as well as the short story collection, Pilgrims--a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and winner of the 1999 John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares. A Pushcart Prize winner and National Magazine Award-nominated journalist, she works as writer-at-large for GQ. Her journalism has been published in Harper's Bazaar, Spin, and The New York Times Magazine, and her stories have appeared in Esquire, Story, and the Paris Review.

Crystal is a church musician, babywearing mama, business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Reedsville, Wisconsin with her husband, four young children (Carmen 8, Andre 7, Breccan 2, and Delphine 7 months), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff at:
and here:


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