Why is it that the moment a nobody author accidentally writes a besteller, he or she immediately decides to continue in the same direction with the given bestseller’s sequel? Is it some king of diluted self-confidence? Is it all about money and fame? Or is it something else?
I do not know the answer but I do know one thing – the sequels for such bestsellers are more or less absolute distaster. Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert is a very good example of that. After the amazing Eat Pray Love, which became every woman’s guide towards pleasure and devotion, which make females around the world believe in themselves and in their right for happiness, Gilbert ruined all that great work with her sequel. Committed is by far (and I am not exaggerating here) the worst piece of non-fiction (and fiction for that matter) that I have read for a long time. I adored Eat Pray Love and I was amazed by Gilbert’s style, sense of humour, and originality. That is why I didn’t hesitate to order the sequel. Worst money spent ever. I want them back.
In Committed the reader meets Liz and her lover Felipe two years after they became a couple. Felipe is refused entry in the USA and the only way to get pass the Homeland Security regulations is for them to get married. Skeptical about marriage (as we learn in the first book), Gilbert decides to investigate the topic and “find peace with it”. I hope she did, but I couldn’t find any peace with her writing. I was just irritated and disappointed.
Committed is basically a trivia about marriage. Elizabeth Gilbert pours out an enormous amount of information about marriage, its history, its customs, and its traditions. Finally (how useful) she gets to the conclusion that after all marriage is not that bad. She twists information and data to make it work for her case, she scores points for and against marriage, but at the end she is forced to get married by law, whether she likes it or not. It seems to me as the popular fable about the fox and the grapes. The fox can’t get the grapes so it is not delicious any more. In the same way, Gilbert is forced to get married and she is determined to convince herself (and the readers) that despite her criticisms against marriage in the first book (and her solemn vow that she will not ever marry) after all marriage is actually great. At the end, she even arrives at the conclusion that marriage is a form of protest agains authorities that attempt to control the masses. I do not even want to start on how she arrived at that conclusion but it is obvious she is trying to justify her actions.
Why don’t give us to it straight – if she wants Felipe to live in the US, she has to marry him. She is forced to do so, so she does it. Enough of this bullshit that at the end the reason is that she wants to. No, she doesn’t want and if it weren’t for the Homeland Security she never would marry. And I wouldn’t have pushed myself to read Committed.
The only thing Committed did was ruin the pleasure I had from reading Eat Pray Love. For the sake of it, I refuse to accept that whoever wrote a brilliant insightful and clever book such as Eat Pray Love can end up with such a weak nonfiction literature piece. For me, the only thing that Elizabeth Gilbert ever wrote remains Eat Pray Love.