|The Signature of All Things - Elizabeth Gilbert|
Summary (via Goodreads.com): 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.
|Ahhh, doesn't that sound lovely?|
I listened to this book on audio, and although it seemed to be never-ending, I gradually came to enjoy it. However, throughout most of the book I just found myself astounded by the amount of research that must've been conducted by Gilbert to come up with the background details of this story. Which, in the end, aren't background details at all but are really quite central to the final chapters.
It took much of the first half of the book for me to begin to like any of the characters but eventually they did grow on me. A book like this is usually about the relationships between all of the characters but I felt that in this book those relationships were merely a tool to get us to the end so that Alma's theories could finally be revealed.
There's a great deal of lead up until we meet Alma, who I would consider the main character of the book. I wonder how much of that was necessary but I guess if you want to write an epic, you might as well tell as much as you possibly can.
Overall I liked this book. It's not something I'll ever pick up again but it has given me a lot to think about in terms of a life well lived, which I think Alma did in the end, even if it wasn't conventional or what was expected at that time (or now for that matter). In fact, I think that was what I liked best about her and the book~
Have you ever looked at something in nature and imagined a whole other world inside of it? That's what Alma does in this novel. How does nature inspire and astound you? Leave a comment below~