Top positive review
15 May 2016
This is the first book of Elizabeth Gilbert that I have read, and it may well be the last. I won't read her earlier works for fear they won't measure up, and I will approach her future work with much trepidation, for fear of expectation. The Signature of All Things is a masterpiece, on the surface a well told tale of the extraordinary life of Alma Whitaker, spanning eight decades through the 19th century, written with incredible insight and detail, in a prose that makes you hang on to every sentence waiting to see what happens next. Yet the narrative is not about a life of adventure or drama (although it does contain it's share of that, too), but about the spirit and endurance of humanity, and ultimately evolution. It's fictional, but interwoven into the times so cleverly it could well be the story of a heroine whose values and fortitude was beyond heroic. It will remain one of my all time favourite books forever.