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The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
Official Release date: October 1, 2013
A glorious, sweeping novel of desire, ambition, and the thirst for knowledge, from the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed
In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittakerâ€”a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henryâ€™s brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her fatherâ€™s money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Almaâ€™s research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite directionâ€”into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artistâ€”but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.
Exquisitely researched and told at a galloping pace, The Signature of All Things soars across the globeâ€”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, whoâ€”born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolutionâ€”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, Gilbertâ€™s wise, deep, and spellbinding tale is certain to capture the hearts and minds of readers.
A writer of incandescent talent Annie Proulx A mix of intelligence, wit and colloquial exuberance that is close to irresistible Jennifer Egan [Gilbert] achieves the enviable feat of telling her characters' stories in their own words, on their own terms, without pomp or superciliousness New York Times Book Review A mix of Annie Proulx and John Irving The Times --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult (October 1, 2013)
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