By Elizabeth Gilbert
I wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did, mostly because I hadn’t seen any encouraging reviews, but it turns out it is one of the more interesting and well-written, albeit woman oriented books I’ve come across in a long time. I’ll actually go so far as to say that I liked it more than Eat Pray Love (the prequel, also by Mrs. Gilbert). I found it an enjoyable pseudo anthropological/ethnographical insight into the world and history of marriage. Yes it is centred around her own current personal problem with the issue of marriage, but I found I strongly related to her initial opinions and fears about the subject of wedlock (‘lock’ being the operative word here…). You learn that being married hasn’t ever really been the most beneficial to women as a rule, and has been throughout history a form of control. Yet also, when the institution was attempted to be dissolved by various forms of government or religion, marriage always prevailed because it is insanely hard to control what ideas, actions and opinions are harboured between two private people. This impenetrable team has endured throughout history and this book does a great job of lighting both sides of the argument for and against holy or at least state official matrimony. It even addresses the ever so touchy subject of gay marriage, and does so fantastically.
I was with Elizabeth wholeheartedly the entire way across East Asia, waiting for permission to come home to America and be married almost against her will. It was a very powerful story, at least it was for me due to my strong opinions about everything related to the boat anchor that is a wedding ring. If you are a person about to get married, a strongly reccomend you pick up this book and at least learn what it is you’re getting into. This book is in NO WAY anti-marriage, it just lays out the history and the facts collected by a woman who found herself facing a very tough decision. It talks about family, culture, nationality, security, commitment, sacrifice and autonomy but most of all it’s about love.
In the end I found I enjoyed this quick, light yet significant read very much, and I am actually trying to convince my gentleman to read it…but that might be like getting a camel through the eye of a needle at this point. I might have to tell him it’s about tanks and put a new book jacket on it….that should do.
-Miss Hailey Jane