Pin It

The Signature of All Things 

By Elizabeth Gilbert (Viking)

click to enlarge reviews_feature3.jpg

It's not easy to make botany exciting, but somehow Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) manages it. Her sprawling new novel follows the life and family history of the equal parts blessed and cursed Alma Whittaker in the 1800s. Blessed because she's born to the richest family in Philadelphia, educated within an inch of her life and given free reign over an impressive grounds, but cursed because she's unavoidably hideous–and after her family adopts the luminescent young orphan Prudence–never allowed to forget it. As she grows and suffers heartbreak after heartbreak (no spoilers here) Alma develops an expertise in botany and more specifically moss, that takes her on a worldly adventure she never thought possible–from the jungles and beaches of Tahiti to Amsterdam and beyond, Gilbert's portrait of a tenacious woman on the cutting edge of science struggling with the big questions of family, love, religion and evolution will have you contemplating why she ever made that switch from fiction to memoir in the first place.

Pin It



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Lindsay Raining Bird

Survey Asks

What's on Stephen McNeil's summer reading list?

  • So You've Been Publicly Shamed
  • Public Relations for Dummies
  • Trump: The Art of the Deal
  • Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity
  • Fun with Fidget Spinners: 50 Super Cool Tricks and Activities

View Results

Art Attack

More »

In Print This Week

Vol 25, No 4
June 22, 2017

Cover Gallery »

Real Time Web Analytics

© 2017 Coast Publishing Ltd.