One lucky reader will win a copy of Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert. Keep on reading to find out more.
Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the phenomenal best-seller “Eat, Pray, Love,” has found a way to reach millions of readers (and make millions of dollars) with her ability to write about the defining moments of her life. She admitted to being selfish, depressed and indulgent, all traits that aren’t too pretty in real life but come off fabulous on the page (and on-screen). Yet, by revealing herself, Gilbert’s found a way to entertain, inspire, and give hope to millions of women and a few men around the world, and people hate her guts for it with good reason — their jealous as hell that it didn’t happen for them. Now, being a romantic realist myself, I don’t get jealous when people find happiness — I get inspired by it, so of course I loved “Eat, Pray, Love” mainly because I can appreciate the path from darkness to light.
When Gilbert’s latest book “Committed” came out earlier this year, I was surprised to see that it didn’t get better reviews, but then I remembered how all the best-loved romantic stories always end on the highest note. Once I read the book this summer, I realized why people were let down a bit by “Committed;” and it was because Gilbert’s own Cinderella story had an anti-climactic ending that took a few years to get to. She didn’t want to get married to her international and charming older lover Felipe and he didn’t want to get married to her, yet they had to get married because the government wouldn’t basically let them be together anymore. Once the reality of real life is presented to readers, it takes some of the romance and charm and dreaminess out of the whole relationship — but for people like me who live with their feet on the ground and not with their head in the clouds — I will tell you liked it.
What I won’t say is that I loved it as much as “Eat, Pray, Love,” because it’s impossible to do so. Reality of life traveling in foreign countries for years without having a place to call home does suck and it did suck for Gilbert and her now-husband. Instead of whining about it for 285 pages, she took a stressful time and created another opportunity to make something more of her journey by writing about her life as well as trying to writing about the culture and socio-economic aspects of marriage from historical, romantic, realistic and even political points of view. She interviews the women she meets along the way of her own path to marriage, and by telling their stories, she slowly learns to make peace by becoming more open to marriage. I think some people didn’t like reading about the non-romantic aspects of marriage, but I did, but then again, I am an un-traditional woman. I am a woman who eloped and didn’t have a single guest at her wedding and didn’t even have a wedding reception. I even changed out of my wedding dress the moment I got into our limo — but mainly because I had been standing on the edge of a cliff in an itchy gown in a 106 degree weather in the middle of a dessert. I didn’t want to make the situation more glamorous than it was–and I did what was best for me, which is feeling comfortable these days. And, that is how Gilbert ended her romantic tale, by being comfortable as well, and who could fault her for living her life the way she wants to?
If you like travel memoirs, realistic happily ever after love stories, stories that take place in Asia or the moment when Dorothy found out exactly who was standing behind the curtain in the film “The Wizard of Oz,” then you’ll enjoy this book. Life is messy and imperfect, and if you can handle all of that while still trying to fantasize that you were in her shoes, then this book is for you and you must go out and buy it immediately!
On a side note, Gilbert has been around for some time now, and has several other books you may be interested in reading. I’ve not read any of them, but I am looking forward to someday reading some of her other magazine articles and short stories. Did you know the article Gilbert wrote for GQ magazine about her time bartending in New York city became the basis of the guilty-pleasure film (and eventual lame chain of bars) for the movie “Coyote Ugly?” My gosh, I just find that somehow fascinating that I’ve never heard that until today.
Visit Indiebound to purchase a copy of Committed for yourself.
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HOW TO ENTER:
**Mandatory Entry: Go to Elizabeth Gilbert’s website and tell me what fun or interesting thing you learned or noticed there.
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Contest ends Sunday, February 6, 2011 at midnight. Good luck to you all!