Committed: A Love Story

( 503 )

Overview

The #1 New York Times bestselling follow-up to Eat, Pray, Love?an intimate and erudite celebration of love.

At the end of her memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian living in Indonesia. The couple swore eternal love, but also swore (as skittish divorce survivors) never to marry. However, providence intervened in the form of a U.S. government ultimatum: get married, or Felipe could never enter America again. Told with Gilbert's trademark ...

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Committed: A Love Story

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Overview

The #1 New York Times bestselling follow-up to Eat, Pray, Love—an intimate and erudite celebration of love.

At the end of her memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian living in Indonesia. The couple swore eternal love, but also swore (as skittish divorce survivors) never to marry. However, providence intervened in the form of a U.S. government ultimatum: get married, or Felipe could never enter America again. Told with Gilbert's trademark humor and intelligence, this fascinating meditation on compatibility and fidelity chronicles Gilbert's complex and sometimes frightening journey into second marriage, and will enthrall the millions of readers who made Eat, Pray, Love a number one bestseller.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Elizabeth Gilbert was, in effect, sentenced to marry. The bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and her Brazilian-Australian boyfriend Felipe were not indifferent to matrimony; having suffered through painful divorces, they were actively opposed to formalizing their bond. Eventually, however, they collided with an immovable obstacle: An American border guard informed that Felipe could not enter the U.S. until he became a citizen. This memoir probes rarely examined aspects of an ancient public institution and its implications for Elizabeth, Felipe, you, and me. An award-winning author attempts to make peace with marriage. A Barnes & Noble Bestseller; now in paperback and NOOKbook.

Carolyn See
This story is essentially journalism, written by an extremely competent journalist. It doesn't pretend to be anything more than that. It's a charming narrative that ends, Shakespearean-fashion, with a happy-hearted wedding. What's not to like?
—The Washington Post
Curtis Sittenfeld
By the end Gilbert had…convinced me that "the book that I needed to write was exactly this book." Because really, in the wake of Eat, Pray, Love, wasn't she damned if she did and damned if she didn't? If this book were too similar to that one, some readers would say it was repetitive. If it were a complete departure, other readers would say she ought to have stuck to what she does well. By bringing along some elements, like exotic international locations, and leaving behind others, like a certain emotional rawness, she will no doubt displease those who will think she brought along what she should have left behind and left what she should have brought. But I'll bet most fans of Eat, Pray, Love will be quite content, book clubs nationwide will have a grand time debating Committed, and even those of us with grouchier dispositions—including those of us who review books—can appreciate the closure of knowing that Gilbert and Felipe live happily ever after.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Gilbert's sequel to the megabestselling Eat, Pray, Love is a serious, sincere, yet ultimately tedious slog of a listen. Debating whether or not to marry her boyfriend, the author embarks on a one-year study of marriage's evolution, cultural variations, pitfalls, and pleasures. It's earnest and heartfelt, but there's no story. Gilbert's encapsulations of her research cannot sustain the reader's interest, and her forays into amateur anthropology in Southeast Asia are crude and uncharitable: she vacillates between tropes of the happy savage and crowing that the Hmong women she interviews will never know her level of education, health, and agency. But these considerable flaws belong to the material alone; Gilbert's reading is unimpeachable. Her voice is low, warm, slightly hoarse; her attitude is confiding and self-deprecating, and her charm does much in making the book's less palatable sections go down easily. A Viking hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 23). (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
In the follow up to Eat, Pray, Love (2006), Gilbert examines her reluctant marriage to Felipe, the Brazilian businessman she met at the end of her post-divorce travels, and considers her doubts about the institution of marriage. After the narrative of her previous book ended, Gilbert and her beau moved to the United States, promised never to get married and set about building a life together. Immigration law soon intervened, however, when Felipe was denied entry to the country. The only solution was marriage, and the memoir recounts how the couple was "sentenced to marry by the Homeland Security Department." Both Gilbert and Felipe, however, had deep reservations about matrimony-some philosophical, some personal. The author narrates the months spent traveling abroad while waiting for the government to process the requisite paperwork, as well as Gilbert's quest to interview people from different cultures regarding marriage. She also delves into contemporary research on matrimony, divorce and happiness. In Southeast Asia, Hmong women don't have the same expectations about emotional fulfillment in marriage. "Perhaps I was asking too much of love," writes Gilbert. Her mother, we learn, loved raising children but profoundly regretted the loss of her career: "If I dwell on that too much, honest to God, I become so enraged, I can't even see straight." Gilbert provides a variety of grim statistics about marriage, her thoughts on gay marriage and a "rant" on gender inequity and social-conservative constructions of the institution. Presented in the author's easy-going, conversational style, the material is intriguing and often insightful. However, readers may wonder if Gilbert has actually made herpeace with marriage, despite the nuptials at the end. "Forgive me then, if, at the end of my story," she writes, "I seem to be grasping at straws in order to reach comforting conclusions about matrimony."A vaguely depressing account of how intimate relationships are complicated by marriage, divorce and expectations about both. Given Gilbert's popularity and the state of marriage in America, however, the book is likely to become a bestseller. Agent: Sarah Chalfant/The Wylie Agency
Publishers Weekly
Gilbert's sequel to the megabestselling Eat, Pray, Love is a serious, sincere, yet ultimately tedious slog of a listen. Debating whether or not to marry her boyfriend, the author embarks on a one-year study of marriage's evolution, cultural variations, pitfalls, and pleasures. It's earnest and heartfelt, but there's no story. Gilbert's encapsulations of her research cannot sustain the reader's interest, and her forays into amateur anthropology in Southeast Asia are crude and uncharitable: she vacillates between tropes of the happy savage and crowing that the Hmong women she interviews will never know her level of education, health, and agency. But these considerable flaws belong to the material alone; Gilbert's reading is unimpeachable. Her voice is low, warm, slightly hoarse; her attitude is confiding and self-deprecating, and her charm does much in making the book's less palatable sections go down easily. A Viking hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 23). (Jan.)
Library Journal
The traditional artist's wooden manikin is more than a benign studio prop. Host, artist, and producer Withers guides viewers through the creative process, demonstrating how to transform the drawing of the manikin through adding simple shapes and forms to create a lifelike figure. It's a great tool for practicing figure drawing while simultaneously testing one's knowledge of human anatomy. The first three chapters include a rundown of materials and tools and a section describing the working parts of the manikin and how they relate to the human form. Five chapters demonstrate Withers's method for drawing basic front, back, and side views of a human figure. The photographic method and effects are extremely easy for a beginning artist or caricaturist to follow. Bonus features include reference materials depicting muscle groups, body landmarks, and surface forms, plus a gallery of poses. This clear, concise DVD will be useful for YAs and adults wishing to learn to draw the human figure.—Susan C. Awe, Univ. of New Mexico Lib., Albuquerque
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143118701
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 105,661
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of a short story collection, Pilgrims-a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and winner of the 1999 John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares-and a novel, Stern Men. A Pushcart Prize winner and National Magazine Award-nominated journalist, she works as writer-at-large for GQ. Her journalism has been published in Harper's Bazaar, Spin, and The New York Times Magazine, and her stories have appeared in Esquire, Story, and the Paris Review.

Biography

While Elizabeth Gilbert's roots are in journalism -- she's a Pushcart Prize-winning and National Magazine Award-nominated writer -- it's her books that have granted her even more attention.

Gilbert departed from reporting in 1997, with the publication of her first collection of short fiction, Pilgrims. A finalist for the 1998 PEN/Hemingway Award, Pilgrims was also selected as a New York Times Notable Book, was listed as one of the "Most Intriguing Books of 1997" by Glamour magazine, and went on to win best first fiction awards from The Paris Review, The Southern Review, and Ploughshares.

Since then, Gilbert has successfully alternated between fiction and nonfiction -- a high-wire act that has paid off in a string of critically acclaimed bestsellers that includes her first full-length novel, Stern Men (2000); The Last American Man (2002), a National Book Award for Nonfiction; and Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia (2006), a celebrated spiritual memoir that landed on several year-end Best Books lists.

Good To Know

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Gilbert:

"I was once observed talking in my sleep, smiling with deep bliss as I said, ‘Ah...the writer's life!'"

"I was a terrible crybaby and coward as a child. I still cry a lot and am afraid of many things, like, for instance, surfing, skiing, and the possibility that somebody somewhere might be mad at me."

"I once accosted Wally Shawn in a restaurant where I was a waitress and he was a patron. I said to him something like, ‘You're a lovely, lovely man who writes lovely, lovely plays! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, Wally Shawn!' He backed away slowly."

"I am far more of a loner than people would imagine. But I am the most gregarious and socially interactive loner you ever met. The thing is, I am fascinated by people's stories and I'm very talkative and can't ever say No to anything or anyone, so I tend to over-socialize, to give away too much of my time to the many people I adore. Therefore, one of the only ways I can ever be alone is if I go traveling solo. This is the secret reason I travel so much, and to such distant places. To get away from everyone I know. I love my friends and family, but I also love it when they can't find me and I can spend all day reading or walking all alone, in silence, eight thousand miles away from everyone. All alone and unreachable in a foreign country is one my most favorite possible things to be."

"The Disney movie Coyote Ugly was based on an article I wrote for GQ about my experience as a bartender in an East Village dive. I just had to add that bizarre fact because I still can't really believe it myself."

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    1. Hometown:
      Hudson Valley, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 18, 1969
    2. Place of Birth:
      Waterbury, Connecticut
    1. Education:
      BA, New York University, 1991 (Political Science)
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

A Note to the Reader xiii

Chapter 1 Marriage and Surprises 1

Chapter 2 Marriage and Expectation 25

Chapter 3 Marriage and History 51

Chapter 4 Marriage and Infatuation 87

Chapter 5 Marriage and Women 135

Chapter 6 Marriage and Autonomy 203

Chapter 7 Marriage and Subversion 233

Chapter 8 Marriage and Ceremony 269

Acknowledgments 281

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 503 )
Rating Distribution

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(132)

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(124)

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(110)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 504 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2010

    Great balance of personal narrative and factual research

    I enjoyed "Eat, Pray, Love" but wasn't sure what to expect from Liz Gilbert's new book. This book is very different and that is a good thing. Both are memoirs of an extraordinary year in the life of the author, but the author is much more mature during this year of her life. It is obvious the year of "Eat, Pray, Love" worked.

    I was fascinated by the facts about marriage presented in "Committed." Liz Gilbert balances historical and anthropological research with stories of her own emotional and physical journey.

    I will buy this book for my young adult daughters, who are evaluating their beliefs about relationships and romance. My marriage to their father ended in divorce. I'm in a much better marriage now. I suspect they are afraid of choosing wrong the first time. This book may help them put their concerns into perspective and certainly give them something to think about.

    27 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2010

    Hmmm

    I absolutely LOVED Eat Pray Love. The historical content in Committed was great, and it was very well written, but it's definitely not as crowd- pleasing as Eat Pray Love as far as subject matter goes. It's more about marriage and its role throughout history/ in different societies than it is about Liz and Felipe (which contrasts Eat Pray Love). Don't buy this book just because you liked Eat Pray Love... I did, and I wish I hadn't.

    15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A helpful and entertaining look at commitment...

    Like many who pick up this book, I was motivated by my enjoyment of Eat Pray Love to read this almost as a sequel to find out where a journey like that takes someone. A skeptic myself and gay besides, I wasn't sure if this book would have much to offer me, but indeed it does. Although marriage is the focal point in this book, through its necessity to allow Elizabeth Gilbert and her now husband to live in the US together, there is a lot in this about relationships in general, unabashedly asking and seeking to answer as best as possible, a skeptic's questions about love, fidelity, and of course commitment.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2010

    It's like having a conversation with your best girlfriend

    I disagree with the negative comments about Committed. If you loved Eat Pray Love and read it a millions times over again, then you loved it because you could relate to the person writing it. It was as if Elizabeth Gilbert grew up with you, you spoke with her daily (or weekly as you grew up) and she was on your speed dial to discuss anything and everything when you needed to talk, laugh, cry.

    I ordered the ebook last night and read it on my new nook next to my new husband. I laughed outloud and felt enlightened and overjoyed that Elizabeth Gilbert was back in my living room. It doesn't matter if you're married or in a relationship or single. The book is vintage Elizabeth Gilbert and it's Elizabeth Gilbert that we love.

    The messages that she shares in the book can be applied to anyone who is open enough to understand that life happens in a million different ways and we need to keep an open mind and heart so that we can apply the beautiful lessons we learn throughout the journey (good, bad and ugly).

    Thanks for another great read!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012

    A must read for all skeptics of marriage or long term love.

    I was going through a very tough break up when I saw the movie made about the book, Eat, Pray, Love. It was everything I needed. It helped me learn how to heal and focus on myself. When I saw this book was the second part of Eat, Pray, Love I knew I had to read it. Being a child of divorced parents and recently being dumped by the love of my life, I knew anything with "a skeptic makes peace with marriage" in the title, was made for me. The book discusses the authors own personal journey with accepting marriage, as well as explaining the meaning of marriage around the world and the view of it years ago. I would reccomend this book to anyone who is losing hope and faith when it comes to love and/or marriage lasting a lifetime.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Uhh..is it over yet?!

    Oh my goodness! I could not wait for this book to be over..which is why i didnt! I stopped half way through. I liked the first book and thought it was a great book to give as a gift. I cant say the same about this one. NO GOOD at all! So boring. Dont waste your money on this one. If you dont believe me..please just check it out at the library..you will thank me later lol.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2010

    An Unfortunate Follow-up to Love

    After I read 'Eat, Pray, Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert, I was thrilled to see she had released another book. What a disappointment 'Committed' was. Although it was written in a similar fashion to her first book, this one lacked the connection to the reader. There were some interesting, historic, and fascinating threads within the book, but it lacked the connection between the reader and the author that makes a book compelling.

    I got tired of listening to Ms. Gilbert's babbling on and on about her quest to marriage. If she had taken us with her on her wanderings through Vietnam, Laos, and Bahli it would have been more interesting. The places in the book where she did tell little stories about the people she met were very interesting. How she was treated as an American woman was fascinating. It was the personal questions and revelations on why or why not she should be getting married that slowed the story down. The premise of the book was good, the overall effect was weak.

    Upon finishing the story, my first thought was "Whew, thankfully I'm out of this story." This book lacked the fire, drive, and passion of her previous work. A disappointment.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2010

    Fascinating look at marriage, great read

    Having read Eat, Pray, Love three times (!) some might consider me an Elizabeth Gilbert junkie. I just love this woman's voice. I love the way she peels back her shell and lets us listen in to her monkey mind/internal dialogue -- neurosis and all. I love that I now feel like I know Felipe/Jose and that I've been given a seat of honor at family events. I'm sure there will be plenty of critics for this book but I won't be one of them. This was a totally enjoyable read. I would suggest that anyone considering marriage sit down and read this book -- the messages about the sound reasons one should and should not get married will certainly substitute for all those who haven't a clue what marriage is really about.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Enjoyable

    My mom suggested I read this. I never read Eat, Prey, Love and I didn't expect much out of Committed. I was pleasantly surprised though. I learned a lot and I thought Elizabeth Gilbert's writing was very good. I have always wondered what the real deal behind marriage was and why it is such an obsessed upon thing. Now I have a much clearer idea. This is not a novel, more an essay. I recommend it to any lady who is thinking about getting married in the future.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2010

    Too much research

    I think the story would have been a lot better if she would of engaged us with her actually story and not about ancient research. Eat, Pray, Love was very engaging and I really thought that this book was going to be the same. I found myself skipping over the history lessons on marriage and wanting to read about her story of what went on during her trails and tribulations.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Why get married?

    The author tells her true life story of being forced to marry her foreign lover or never see him again. He's been banned from the US so she must either live abroad with him or marry him. During the paperwork to complete his FBI check to decide if she can marry him or not, she tells us her soul searching to decide if this is what she is willing to commit to. She researches various books on marriage and comments on how they impact her decision. Maybe she's too analytical for others. Love is supposed to just happen and not be dissected but if you finish the story, I think you'll appreciate marriage anew.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Persuaded to stay un-Committed

    I can't say I liked this book more than Eat, Pray, Love, but I did learn a lot from it. I found the origins of our modern day marriages to be interesting, and in the end, I found myself to be quite Greek in my thinking. As a nonconformist, I found validity for my desire to stay unmarried, even though Gilbert's experience with the same information was quite different. I think any couple contemplating marriage could benefit from reading and discussing this book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2010

    a disappointment for anyone who loved eat, pray, love

    I was so excited for this book to come out, but honestly it was a struggle just to finish it. I was very disappointed. I loved Eat, Pray, Love and expected this book to be more like a sequel, full of Gilbert's wit and charm. However, it was more idle ranting and philosophizing. Boring and disappointing. The only thing I can say for it is that it does get better if you keep reading. The first few chapters are much worse than the last few. :-/

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2010

    Gilbert's exercise in self-indulgence

    Prepare to be thoroughly disappointed! This book reads like an entirely boring, terrifically self-absorbed, examination of the institution of marriage. Has none of the freshness, charm, and sincerity of Eat, Pray, Love. I pre-ordered this book with much anticipation and intended to pass it on to my sister in Seattle, but I'm not going to now.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2011

    LOVE IT!!

    A FRIEND MENTIONED THIS BOOK IN A CONVERSATION, W/O READING EPL, I STARTED READING COMMITTED AND I JUST LOVE IT, I COULDN'T SET IT ASIDE.
    LOVE STORIES ARE MY FAVORITE AND THIS ONE HAD THAT.. AND MORE......SOMETHING SO REAL.....I ENJOYED IT ALL THE WAY.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2010

    Nothing like her first book Eat, Pray, Love.

    I had really high hopes for this book, but was disappointed. I thought it was going to be written similar to the prequel to this book Eat, Pray, Love, but it is not written similarly at all. This book mainly presents her research on matrimony. I would have liked to see the book be more about her and her fiance and their travels waiting for his fiance visa.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Liz's writing is consistant

    After reading Eat, Pray, Love I could not wait to dig into Liz's next season of life. While her writing is consistant, the facts she pulled together were not. Most facts were opinion based rather factual which was a huge disappointment and surprise. Liz should stick to writing of her travels and how they impact her rather than trying to create a thesis on relationships.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    Interesting, but not compelling

    Of course I couldn't wait to read this after finishing "Eat, Pray, Love," but to be honest, I'm a bit disappointed. Elizabeth tells us what she and Felipe are doing and the quirky trials they go through to be together, but not married. Then after the realization that a commitment is necessary she dives head first into marriage research. There are some interesting nuggets in this quite lengthy section of the book, but it is a bit slow and at times preachy. If you are expecting a romantic tale of Elizabeth and Felipe living happily ever after, this is not it, but if you want to learn how one woman comes to terms with marriage, after swearing it off completely, then you will enjoy this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2010

    Disappointed

    I loved Eat Pray Love and was so excited when I heard that Elizabeth Gilbert was coming out with a sequel that I reserved the hard cover book in advance. I was so disappointed I can't tell you. I read and read and was wondering when it would get better. No offense EG to you as you are a great storyteller- but who cares - this book is so self-indulgent...I really really didnt care about her tale of woe of how long her husband had to wait to get into the country. I would not read this if you are expecting another EPL...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2010

    Don't ruin EPL by reading this.

    I loved Gilbert's first book EPL, this one reads more like Anthropology 101. Only occasionally does her witty, perceptive voice sneak through the dialogue of facts. We chose it for our book group, and half of the people had to put it down in the middle.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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