Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

Like millions of others I read  Eat, Pray, Love and saw the 2010 Julia Roberts film.

I assumed that hit was a lucky home run by Gilbert who seemed to be some kind of self-help guru.

To my surprise I find that Elizabeth Gilbert is an excellent writer.

Gak. She’s the author of The Last American Man (2003), a superb book recommended to me by the late, great Rob Glaser. I loved it.

I hadn’t connected that book with in any way with Eat, Pray, Love.

I highly recommend Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2013 book The Signature of All Things.

Gripping historical fiction. Original. Superb in every way.

The story follows Alma Whittaker, daughter of a botanical explorer, as she comes into her own within the world of plants and science. As Alma’s careful studies of moss take her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she starts a spiritual journey which spans the 19th Century.

Alma is a contemporary of Charles Darwin and independently comes up with something similar to Darwin’s evolution by natural selection. Sadly, Alma never published.

Click PLAY or watch the author’s inspiration on YouTube.

Guardian review:

… her second work of full-length fiction, is quite simply one of the best novels I have read in years. …

Barbara Kingsolver’s review for the NY Times is even more glowing.

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