The Signature of All Things – Elizabeth Gilbert
The Signature of All Things is one of my favorite books of all time. I bought the book last year at a discount book store, and read it. And loved it. It is a beautifully written book, with fascinating characters living at such an exciting time (the Victorian period) that you will be left bereft to leave the characters, especially the main protagonist, in order to finish it.In fact, it is a story that can be read again and again (I have read it twice, so far).
At just shy of 500 pages, it could be classed as an epic read (certainly in my mind), and tells the story of Alma Whittaker, a woman who wants for nothing but pursues everything. Her father, Henry Whittaker is one of the richest businessmen in America at that time, and Alama inherits not only his money, but his brilliant mind. Her thirst for knowledge leads her across the globe, researching the mysteries behind evolution, at a time when Charles Darwin was researching the same theory in England. It is the time of the Age of Enlightenment, when all the preconceived notions regarding religion, commerce and society are being questioned and overturned in an ever changing world.
Alma is a botanist, and in her quest to find the evolution of the species spends her life studying moss. She also manages to travel the world and to marry her one true love, Ambrose Pike, who’s paintings of orchids she adores. In her travels, she meets fascinating characters; missionaries, scientists, fellow botanists and adventurers.
A fabulous read, well worth a recommendation. 5/5.
Suzanne Bowditch, 2016