The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Signature of All Things is a lengthy story with captivating characters. The main character Alma is a naturalist who grew up with a very wealthy self-made man for a father and a less than warm Dutch mother. Alma struggles to relate to her aloof, adopted sister, to please her demanding parents, and then to understand her sensitive, fragile husband. She is extremely intelligent, and spends the majority of her life in the study of the natural world, specifically she becomes an expert in the area of mosses. Despite its length, the book held my attention well, and the historical facts kept it interesting, but I did feel like the story dragged on at times, and although Alma is portrayed as a strong, confident woman, it is hard not to see her also as a very tragic figure. The author raises many questions about the nature of god and the how science cannot answer all questions.
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