The Signature of All ThingsTitle : The Signature of All Things

Author : Elizabeth Gilbert      

ISBN-10 :  0670024856

ISBN-13 : 978-0670024858

Paperback : 512 pages

The Plot :

In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker—a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry’s brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father’s money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma’s research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction—into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist—but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.

Exquisitely researched and told at a galloping pace, The Signature of All Things soars across the globe—from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond. Along the way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the quite mad. But most memorable of all, it is the story of Alma Whittaker, who—born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution—bears witness to that extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, religion, commerce, and class were exploding into dangerous new ideas. Written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time, Gilbert’s wise, deep, and spellbinding tale is certain to capture the hearts and minds of readers.

Review :

This has been by far my favourite book by Elizabeth Gilbert. The book takes you on a botanical journey across continents and you come to live an entire life time with Alma. It has been beautifully written and the story unfolds in such a mesmerizing manner that it is almost impossible to put down. I loved the way each character is introduced and how you come to relate to them even though they are so diverse. After Eat Pray Love and Committed, this is such a different writing style that Elizabeth Gilbert has adopted and makes this book a wonderful read. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know and grow up with Alma. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a beautifully simple story that is really well written.

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