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The Signature of All Things (2013)

de Elizabeth Gilbert

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2,7561763,763 (3.9)217
Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker--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, Henry's brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father's money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma'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 direction -- into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist -- but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life. 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, who -- born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution- 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.… (mais)
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» Veja também 217 menções

Inglês (174)  Francês (1)  Todos os idiomas (175)
Mostrando 1-5 de 175 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
This isn't a fluffy read, but didn't require a ton of concentration, either. A good mid-range story that I don't regret reading but won't need to read again. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
I quite enjoyed this book. It is very different from the author's Eat Love Prey book that I read previously. The main character Alma is quite the amazing lady. She is a botanist in the 1800's who we follow from childhood through to her old age. Her approach to the world around her was fascinating and I loved following along as her dreams, thoughts, education and relationships are out on full display. She was a quirky but highly intelligent woman and it was great to read about her life and theories. Recommended. ( )
  tinkerbellkk | Mar 28, 2021 |
Makes me want to check out some of Elizabeth Gilbert's earlier work (before Eat, Pray, Love). Enjoyed her writing style and wit and appreciate the lessons on satisfaction achieved through hard work and industry as well as the lessons on forgiveness.

Books that have the most impact on me tend to be full of quotes I find quotable. Below are just two among many in this novel:

“Never put away your labors while the sun is high, Alma, with the hopes of finding more hours to work tomorrow—for you shall never have any more extra time tomorrow than you had today...”

“What profound reward you must glean from studying the world so closely....Too many people turn away from small wonders, I find. There is so much more potency to be found in detail than generalities, but most souls cannot train themselves to sit still for it.”
( )
  StudioLibrarian | Jan 19, 2021 |
"This life is a mystery, yes, and it is often a trial, but if one can find some facts within it, one should always do so--for knowledge is the most precious of all commodities."

Not as good as City of Girls but nevertheless very readable. I felt that part of the last quarter of the book could have been eliminated because I felt the journey brought nothing to the story. This obsession with Ambrose was not interesting to me. That being said the Fifth section of the book, "Curator of Mosses" makes up for any other shortcomings and is some of the best stuff I have read in a while. My quote is something Alma says in the last part of the book and it is very prescient for our times. ( )
  FurbyKirby | Jan 5, 2021 |
Very well written and a most enjoyable story. I didn't like Eat, Pray, Love so I was hesitant to try this one, but was very surprised. I couldn't put it down and I would highly recommend this book. The writing reminded me of Jonathan Franzen and Donna Tartt. An excellent read! ( )
  3CatMom | Dec 28, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 175 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Should finally redefine Gilbert as a writer with an incredible sense of lyricism, and a rare command of and confidence in her story...She makes broad, unresolvable premises — regular-ish human life, with its aspirations and humiliations, her own or her character’s — look easy, by taking nothing for granted, making sharp and unrelenting observations and framing it with a rare positivity and sense of possibility.
adicionado por ShelfMonkey | editarThe National Post, Kate Carraway (Oct 10, 2013)
 
Gilbert has established herself as a straight-up storyteller who dares us into adventures of worldly discovery, and this novel stands as a winning next act. “The Signature of All Things” is a bracing homage to the many natures of genius and the inevitable progress of ideas, in a world that reveals its best truths to the uncommonly patient minds.
adicionado por zhejw | editarNew York Times, Barbara Kingsolver (Sep 29, 2013)
 
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For my grandmother
Maude Edna Morcomb Olson
in honor of her hundredth birthday
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Alma Whittaker, born with the century, slid into our world on the fifth of January, 1800.
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Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker--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, Henry's brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father's money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma'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 direction -- into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist -- but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life. 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, who -- born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution- 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.

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