The Boston Globe said of Elizabeth Gilbert's (Eat Pray Love author) most recent book Committed that it's "smart but not intimidating, wise but not smarmy, kind but imperfect, funny in a way that makes us feel better about ourselves."
It occurred to me that here exactly was how I would like to be described - not even my writing - just me in general. Oh I know I have work to do.
But I would agree with that review. I was prepared not to like this latest work. I hesitated before buying it; I'd read Eat Pray Love on the eve of motherhood and though I found no parallel between our lives at the time compelling me to relate to the book, it spoke to me so clearly that I read it three times.
Marriage has thankfully changed my view of relationships between couples. In my twenties I bought with fervour the romantic notion of you complete me. I believed that if I could only find that perfect person, that veritable super-man, I would finally be happy. That this man would be the part of me which was missing; make me whole and ensure that I lived happily ever after. And he would certainly have me at hello and because he was the one, we would always have an easy go of it, riding on waves of passion forever.
In Committed, Gilbert addresses this ridiculousness. She spends a year studying the institution of marriage throughout the centuries, shares her findings using her own mistaken notions and mirth to enlighten the reader so that you feel as if you and she are learning at the same time.
I love that.
There were times I wanted to call someone just to read parts out loud. And I would have if my children didn't suddenly become possessed every time I picked up the phone. Believe me if I didn't know for certain that Shaune would rather have a root canal without pain meds than discuss Eat Pray Love author's new book about love and marriage, I would have held a bookclub meeting right there in our living room quoting highlighted passages while we took turns discussing how Gilbert's findings impacted us.
Nevermind that Gilbert is relatable for me because we're about the same age, grew up in a similar culture of thinking - especially about relationships and marriage but I was sure at times that she'd plucked trains of thought straight from my head.
This book confirms that marriage the way I'm experiencing it, is right.
Is what it should be.
It talks honestly about the hard work that marriage is, the difference between infatuation and real love, how office relationships often initiated in the spirit of friendship can be insidious to your home life if you're not conscious of where it's going.
But there is no preaching. No judging and definitely no one-upping. She talks about this subject matter with boatloads of humility, beautiful language and a good dose of humour.
And because I think it's an important book to read, even though I'm not getting paid to promote it, I would like to offer someone my copy of the book. If you are interested, please leave a comment. I will use the random winner generator (I don't know if that's what it's called but there is such a thing) to pick a winner and send you the book. Be sure to leave me your first name and we can work out the details later.
I took pictures of our passport photos. We got them done this week. It was the first time the kids listened to what I've been saying. Deaglan kept smiling and saying cheese, finally. And it was the first time there was a good shot of Naveen's little teeth. Murphy's law at it's finest.