The Signature of All Things is a new fictional novel by Elizabeth Gilbert author of Eat, Pray, Love fame. This is a long book – 499 pages. While I found merit in the story, I did not enjoy some aspects of it and thought it was too long.
This is a story about a young woman named Alma who resides in Pennsylvania during the 19th century. Her parents are wealthy and Alma, an only child is blessed with a wide array of knowledge which molds her into a woman of science whose main interest is studying moss. Late in life, she takes a trip to Tahiti in order to still questions which plague her about her late husband who resided there.
There is much to learn from this novel about evolution and botany. The characters contained in the story are interesting and the setting beautifully descriptive. I was disappointed that the author chose to spend a great deal of time in the book vividly describing the sexual appetites and practices of the main character. Personally, I didn’t find this aspect to lend much of anything to the story. In fact, it made me want to stop reading the book altogether. I thought, “Ok, we get it! Enough already!” Perhaps other readers may not be put off by this, but I was.
Because the book was so long and heavy, I also wished it had been published in two volumes. My arms ached just holding it! At times, it was too wordy and lost my interest. All in all, the story was fairly interesting and well researched. I respect the amount of work that went into the writing of it. If you have read it, please share your impressions!