To begin with, I haven’t read Eat, Pray, Love by Gilbert and haven’t watched the movie as well. I know I am one of the very few people who haven’t done it but that is how it is. The sole reason behind picking this book up was its blurb, I found it interesting. It might sound a bit exaggerated but I have never read a book written with so much confidence. From the beginning till the end, I was praising the author for her thought, her ability to make me fall in love with her words and keeping me hooked to the story of Alma Whittaker. If I am asked to describe this book in a single word, I would say “Rich” in every aspect.
The Signature Of All Things is about a journey of a remarkable woman, Alma. The story unfolds from late 1700 and Alma is born in 1800 to a Dutch mother and a father defined by his ambition and talents. Alma is blessed with rare intelligence and because of her parents, she develops an investigative instinct about things and ends up being a botanist. That is what explains the beautiful cover of the book. Alma is a woman of science and her life revolves around “Mosses” as she sets out to the path of scientific exploration with a specific interest in Bryology.
The book has a lot of layers to it. With homages to the victorian types, this book is about love, courage, beauty, wonders of the world, a journey of self-discovery, nature and its elements in a very literary style which is what appealed to me as a reader. Gilbert’s words took to me to the world of Alma and I was totally engrossing with it. The story travels in time, countries, different characters and centuries but there was never an instant that Gilbert lost her grip on the plot. Sexuality remains the under current of the story. The book is almost 500 pages long but there will never be an instant where you will feel like putting it down.
I must point out that the amount of research that has been done to portray Alma as a botanist is commendable. Also, amidst heartbreak, betrayal, madness the tone of the story was relentlessly cheerful. I took my own good time to sail through this book because it has a quality of fine wine. You got to devour it slowly and steadily and when you will read the last chapter of the book, you would want to go back to the first page and re-read it all over again. It will satisfy you at both emotional and intellectual levels. Give it a shot.
Book Source : Publisher
Publisher : Bloomsbury India
Genre : Fiction
Price : Rs. 599/-