What a well written book this is!! The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. An extraordinary scientific discovery intertwined with a family story that starts in the year 1800 in which the protagonist Alma Whittaker is born.
The writer of this book travels with her main characters to different continents. However, the centre is White Acre, the family estate in Philadelphia that Alma’s father has acquired in the New World.
Alma is very smart and independent woman for her time, but she is not very pretty and unfortunately men are not lining up for her. She therefore focuses on studying botany and starts writing articles for the journal Botanica Americana. Not quite a surprise, as her parents have become wealthy with trading exotic plants. And Alma’s grandfather was a gardener in what is now Kew Gardens in London, the largest botanical garden in the world.
Because of this book I had to visit Kew Gardens. It may not be a common tourist attraction when you visit London for a city trip. But, if you live there or visit London more often, it is definitely worthwhile to hop on the District Line towards Richmond.
Elizabeth Gilbert describes beautiful and engaging characters, she interweaves science and romance, mystery and great discoveries from the 19th century. The protagonist Alma stays in your head for a long time. Elizabeth Gilbert’s big bestseller Eat Pray Love is above all very personal and entertaining. The Signature of All Things is therefore a pleasant surprise, a very impressive and extremely fine novel.
Click on The Signature of All Things to buy on The Bookdepository or click on the book below to buy on Amazon.
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