The book chronicles the author’s journey to her second marriage, to Felipe who she met in Bali. It continues from where her earlier book, Eat, Pray, Love, ended. Skeptical about the benefits of marriage after their firsts, Elizabeth and Felipe lived together on their own terms. Until – and this is the turning point – US Immigration detained and denied Felipe entry which the author found weird because he had been entering and leaving the country several times both for business and personal reasons. Unless they marry. Immigration gave them two minutes otherwise Felipe would be deported. Their two minutes up, Immigration deported Felipe.
But they had a plan. Elizabeth will join him in exile (Australia) to wait out further results of the immigration process. However Felipe had no more reason to be in Australia since after his divorce (he had since resided in Bali) so both decided to wander around Southeast Asia– Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and then Bali. It was a year of wandering which Elizabeth used to research and learn about the institution of marriage, through literature review and interviews with locals they meet. It is through this study that Elizabeth came to learn what marriage really meant to her. So that when Felipe was finally allowed entry into the US, Elizabeth was ready and happy to marry him, and not just because it was US Immigration’s ultimatum.
I like the book for its interesting research on marriage and candid exploration of the perceptions, real and imagined, of the institution. It gave me an idea, of colleges here opening a Marriage 101 class. I bet it’d be the most popular course in campus, even professors would take it.