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Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert

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I really wanted to dislike this book. While I admired Gilbert's style of writing in her best-seller Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia and appreciated her journey, so much of that memoir felt I was reliving a friend's therapy session.

Much to her credit, Gilbert did not try to create another literary blockbuster with . Instead it's the relatively simple tale of how she decides to marry the man she meets at the end of Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia . That's a more arduous task than one would expect. "Felipe", as he's called in the memoir, is a Brazilian by birth and an Australian by passport. However, when the Department of Homeland Security objects to his frequent 90-day jaunts on a visa to be in the U.S. with Gilbert, the best way for the couple to be together is to get married.

But for a woman as emotionally scarred by her first marriage as the author, getting married again takes much hand-wringing. The historical and research-driven components of the book, ranging from Gilbert's own grandmother's story of choosing marriage to facts about how much more marriage benefits men than women, are interesting without being terribly heavy. If some of the book felt redundant, I suspect it's because I recently read George Chauncey's Why Marriage?: The History Shaping Today's Debate over Gay Equality , a book with more intellectual heft but less charm than .

There's no real question of whether Gilbert will end up marrying the charming and loving Felipe, but I would argue that her struggle to make peace with being someone's wife is far more universal than, say, dashing about the world while mending a broken heart. Honestly, Why Marriage?: The History Shaping Today's Debate over Gay Equality offers you a bit of philosophy, memoir, and history in a very lightweight way, making it a good read for the single, married or divorced among us.

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