The Signature of All Things: A Novel
by Elizabeth Gilbert
Paperback- $12.30

A glorious, sweeping novel of desire, ambition, and the thirst for knowledge, from the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, ...

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  "The Signature of All Things" by jslater (see profile) 08/21/14

Very good! Well developed main character.

  "The Signature of all Things" by momster90 (see profile) 10/24/14

This is my "Book of the Year" pick. Elizabeth Gilbert completely surprised me with the amount of research that stands behind this book, not to mention a 180 degree change from any of her previous books. The heroine was fascinating & totally engaging.

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  "Mixed reviews within our club" by Burgo49 (see profile) 02/27/15

While half our our club couldn't finish the book because it bored them to tears, others loved it. Because it was 50/50, we weren't able to discuss the book in too much detail. Personally the book was certainly not a page turner. It was difficult for me to get invested in any of the characters and I was easily bored. Helpful hint: skim through the parts going over the science of mosses. I found myself struggling through this section of the book but had I skimmed through it, I would have still been able to follow the story. Honestly wish that part was removed entirely!

  "All you ever wanted to know about moss" by klbswanson (see profile) 03/27/15

Elizabeth Gilbert explores the many layers of scientific discovery, symbolized by an independent 19th century woman's study of mosses in Pennsylvania. Well written, well researched, thought provoking.

  "" by bjackso5 (see profile) 04/04/15

  "The Signature of all living things" by epaffett (see profile) 05/30/15

Enjoyable read about a man's success in the 1800's, his daughter's passion for plants, mosses and where this takes her life.

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  "The Signature of All Things: A Novel" by CNYLady (see profile) 06/12/15

Our book club loved this book. It is inventive and well researched. It is completely different from the author's other books.

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  "a bit dry" by Carolynr (see profile) 02/14/16

this is not an exciting book to read and when i first started i thought i might not finish But I fell in love with the main character Alma and found i had to keep reading got see what would happen. Its a long book but i did enjoy the story and there is a LOT for a book club to talk about.

  "A Beautiful Story" by nbaker (see profile) 02/26/16

I ran hot and cold through this story – perhaps it was because I had to put it down and pick it up many times over the course of 2 weeks due to some unforeseen issues. The fact that I kept coming back to it must support my 4 star rating. This was an epic story of one family, three generations and an inherent desire for knowledge. I found the history of plants and mosses incredibly interesting and walked away with an appreciation I didn't have before of something as small as a clump of moss on a rock. I envied Alma and her family’s thirst for learning. The story was littered with a menagerie of characters who ranged from charming to quirky to self-sacrificing. It dabbled in some areas that I prefer not to read about, but for the sake of the greater picture, I tried to overlook it. The greatest difficulty for me was the book’s push to try to not just prove the evolution of plants but humans as well. Certainly any story that incorporates the field of science is going to somehow question the Christian faith in God and an original creation and I get that, but since my heart believes in one God and one creation, it became a bit off balance for me in some parts. That being said, it was truly a beautiful story of life, of dreams of experiencing and pondering all that was created (by whomever you choose to believe created it). It was a lengthy story, but flowed quite well and necessary to bring the story full circle. The ending had almost a poetic aura to it. For me it eloquently addressed Alma’s theory that only the strongest of plants survive – that they take on the strengths, protections and life-sustaining forms needed to continue on and thereby create the hardiest strain of themselves – a “signature specimen”. But in reality, her family’s story read the same as her plants – each generation possessed a will and hunger, greater than the person before, to grow in knowledge and understanding. Each generation’s reflection was a bit clearer than the one before. Each generation’s contribution brought added validity to their assumptions and beliefs. In the complete life spans of two fathers and a daughter, they molded and shaped what they believed to be a plausible plant evolution hypothesis. Ironically, what they actually created was a better, stronger version of themselves with each passing of the baton – a signature specimen of a living object with the power to think, question and reason.

  "" by lynnephillips (see profile) 09/09/16

  "Educational" by mhk0604 (see profile) 10/13/16

If you have no experience with botanicals or botany, I recommend having access to google while you read if you like to "learn" everything discussed like I do.

It was a good book. It will make you happy, sad, & mad - multiple times!

  "Brilliant storytelling!" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/10/17

"Too many people turn away from small wonders, I find. There is so much more potency to be found in detail than in generalities, but most souls cannot train themselves to sit still for it." - Ambrose Pike, The Signature of All Things. You will want to sit still for the many small wonders you will find in this magnificent life story of Alma Whittaker, a brilliant female botanist growing up in the 1800s. Alma looks to the natural world for the explanation of life, but doesn't turn away from the diversity of thought from the various people who influence her life.

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