The first two chapters I felt like watching a documentary about marriage. Never had I read a book that is entirely dedicated to matrimonial history and cultural aspects and views about marriage in general.
I guess I had expected something similar to her previous book 'Eat,Pray,Love' which I had loved so much.
Then after Chapter Three I found that familiar taste again...although still focusing on marriage the funny, self-critical and interesting Liz was back.
It was both entertaining and informative. I learned quite a lot about the act of marriage. And I guess I liked the book because my views about this legal act are very very similar to hers. If we (Alper & I) didn't happen to be Turkish, living in Turkey, I'm not sure if we (that is, I..) would have considered to get married at all. It was only because we didn't want to dissapoint our families and things would be easier once we had a baby. I've never been a very romantic person who had always been dreaming about wearing a white gown and having a glamorous wedding. In fact, I always had the feeling marriage puts an unnecessary burden on relationships based on love. Somehow love and marriage didn't seem to get along very well.
I've been married for 4 years now, I still don't believe that marriage is a holy thing..but it's true that when you're married, it's much harder to slam the door and leave everything behind. You are more careful and try to keep the relationship healthy and stable. Especially after having a baby. And, of course, the legal aspect makes everything easier to handle when you're married. Especially after having a baby.
Liz is/was much much more skeptical about marriage, also very terrified and cautious (because of a very ugly divorce history). And if you're a big supporter of marriage the constant critical tone might disturb you, but I would still recommend the book without hesitation.
Here're some excerpts from the book;
"Freud defined infatuation pithily as "the overvaluation of the object," and Goethe even put it better: "When two people are really happy about one another, one can generally assume they are mistaken."
"In the end, it seems to me that forgiveness may be the only realistic antidote we are offered in love, to combat the inescapable disappointments of intimacy."
"For there is one thing I have learned over the years about men, it is that feelings of powerlessness do not usually bring forth their finest qualities."
"Ceremony and ritual march us carefully right through the center of our deepest fears about change, much the same way that a stable boy can lead a blindfold horse right through the center of a fire, whispering, "Don't overthink this, buddy, okay? Just put one hoof in front of the other and you'll come out on the other side just fine."
Fresh flowers from a friend...flowers make me feel good..