I had a giftcard to Border's from Christmas and found Committed, and bought it excitedly. I read it pretty quickly and thoroughly enjoyed it.
This second memoir basically picks up where Eat, Pray, Love leaves off. Elizabeth is with her Brazilian man and plans to spend the rest of her life with him-without being married to him. They have a lovely system worked out until he overstays his welcome in the U.S. and they are forced to marry in order to be together. In the months that follow, Elizabeth wrestles with her fears and misgivings surrounding a marriage being thrust upon her. She reflects on what was missing in her first marriage, and turns to everyone from marital scholars and academics, personal friends and family, Laotian tour-guides, and Hmong grandmothers in her quest to discover what makes a lasting and satisfying marriage. It's as much a story of marriage in general as it the story of Elizabeth's relationship. The book is also a revealing look at the journey that women have taken through the history of marriage and relationships. Regardless of your relationship status or plans, this book is worth reading for it's examination of a central institution in our society.
Although I am neither engaged nor married, I found the book riveting and deeply relevant to my life. As a child of divorce--and someone who hopes to get married sometime in the not too distant future--I am very concerned with what makes marriages happy and long-lasting. I'm pretty afraid of divorce, actually, and related to Elizabeth's concerns as she faced her impending nuptials. In a strange way, some of her findings were deeply comforting to me and gave me a great deal of hope--as they seemed to give the author as well.
Here are a couple of additional, more in depth reviews. One from Aidan of Ivy League Insecurities, and another from Elizabeth at Life in Pencil.
Finally, although it was quite different from her previous book, Eat, Pray, Love, I loved this one every bit as much. I had high expectations going in, and this one happened to live up to them. It got me thinking about second memoirs, though. Look for an upcoming post on second memoirs. I think it's a topic worth exploring.
Have you read Committed? Do you plan to? Is your decision swayed either way because of your impressions or experiences with Eat, Pray Love?