I am 50/50 on this book. I purchased it for just a couple of dollars at an epic book sale. When I looked up the rating, it was 3.8 (not the best but still not low enough to be written off). You may have heard of the author Elizabeth Gilbert from her most famous work, “Eat, Pray, Love”. I haven’t read it but I do want to! And I also want to read a few of her other books. “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.” “The Signature of All Things” is filled with amazing detail and imagery. I really and truly loved the first 75% of this novel. But I feel as though while getting towards the end, everything became just a little bit of a stretch/unbelievable. I really had to push myself to finish the last 30 pages. I could have easily not finished it and been just fine without knowing the ending. With all that being said, I still am interested in reading other works of Elizabeth Gilbert.
GoodReads rating: 3.8
Page count: 528