“Sometimes life is too hard to be alone, and sometimes life is too good to be alone.”
Elizabeth Gilbert continues to share her romance with Felipe, whom she met Felipe at the end of her yearlong travel across Italy, India and Indonesia. It was easy to love in the picturesque Bali, but as a journalist and author, Elizabeth eventually had no choice to return to the United States to work
In love and committed to each other, the two lovebirds created a seemingly fool proof plan: to travel together across the globe, attending their respective work responsibilities together.
Liz and Felipe forgot something vitally important: the suspicious American government, post 9/11. It took one official to notice Felipe’s passport carrying a suspicious amount of travelling stamps for the kind and carefree Brazilian to be detained at an airport for hours.
Elizabeth and Felipe were fortunate enough to meet with a kindly officer, but they were laid down the law nonetheless: either go through the arduous process required for an American to marry a foreigner and get married, or permanent deportation of Felipe .
What sounded like an easy solution certainly wasn’t. Not only did they have to go through various channels and mountains of paperwork to get married, they both had to deal with the idea of being married again – something the couple did not want in the least as they both had gone through difficult divorces. The alternative was something they would not consider: the end of their relationship or Elizabeth’s relocation.
Elizabeth, in her travel-enthusiastic nature, devised a plan for them to travel the world together while they tried to sort out the drama back in the States. Travelling to many small, primitive towns and cultures, Elizabeth sets out to determine how marriage is seen in the world and what they do to keep it intact.
YAY! I finally finished this book. To get it done, I refused to read anything interesting until I got through it. I had been sitting with this book, occasionally peeking at it and wondering why I couldn’t finish what was essentially a good book, and I found my reason: It is too much a textbook to provide easy, continuous reading.
Gilbert extensively researches marriage, its history and customs and seeks advice from across the globe, and documents most conversations, theories and ideas quite intensely. I found it interesting and intelligently written, but the material is very intense AND thought provoking, causing me to stop every few paragraphs just to take a breath and think about what I read.
Producing a novel worthwhile to compete with the colossal success that Eat Pray Love was could not have been easy. Gilbert continues with the story of her and Felipe but it is never on that level of adventure and romance. The story concerns them intimately, but their relationship is merely a stepping stone that was used to provide a storyline. I wish she could have focused on her relationship more – for all the fanfare she created to marry the man she loves (because we are ALL so against marrying men we love), she sorely forgets that being with him would be her ultimate prize.
It sounds like I didn’t enjoy the book, but I did. I just found it confusing and sometimes lost of focus. I really learnt a whole lot about the different forms of marriage and how the ancient ceremony has evolved over the years, and how each country, no matter how primitive, finds a way to bind themselves to each other.
Recommendation: If you read Eat Pray Love, you will most likely enjoy its sequel, although be warned that it is not on the same scale.