Elizabeth Gilbert, you will like this book. I reviewed Eat, Pray, Love all the way over here on this other blog and never transferred it over to this one. My bad. I'll do that eventually. In the meantime, let us continue through Elizabeth's newest adventure, shall we?
First I just want to say that this book is lovely, not only through the language but through the actual physicality of it. Normally I'm not a fan of hardcovers, but I had a gift card and this was the only book I really, really wanted when it came out, so I splurged. I'm so glad I did. Everything from the front and back covers, the engraving on the front, the text, and the decorations throughout are beautiful. Sigh. Just the way every book should be.
Now, on to the contents. This is a very different book from Eat, Pray, Love but it's told in the same witty, humorous tone that defines Elizabeth's writing. I felt like I was catching up with an old friend. While this is technically another memoir, detailing the circumstances in which she and Felipe are forced to live halfway around the world while trying to gain him entrance into the US, it's really more about her dive into the history of Western civilization's concept of marriage and how that has shaped her aversion towards it. You see, Felipe can't return to the US unless he and Liz get married, but neither one of them wants to get married because they were both so scarred by their previous divorces. While trying to get Felipe a fiance visa so they can return home, Elizabeth has to grapple with her own adamant feelings of aversion to marriage. And how does an educated, 21 Century woman do this? Through research, of course. So not only do we get to enjoy her writing, we get a bit of a history lesson as well (if only she had been my history professor back in college).
I actually really enjoyed the lesson on marriage. There were a lot of interesting tidbits about the institution I never would have heard about, which made me realize I had jumped into the most socially acceptable thing to do without knowing why. Some of the statistics that are thrown out are a bit daunting (women who married at my age are much less likely to stay married than those who wait another 10 years) but I ended up agreeing with the conclusion Elizabeth found at the end of her search. (I won't spoil it here; you'll have to find out for yourself!)
5 out of 5 stars. Another great book from one of my all-time favorite authors. This book is well-researched, told in a way that makes you want to keep reading (even when you already know the ending for her personal story), and is really just a great quick read. Plus, you'll learn something along the way. Guaranteed.