an excellent, sweeping novel of desire, ambition, and the thirst for data, from the # 1 big apple instances bestselling creator of consume, Pray, Love and committed In The Signature of All issues, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into a captivating story of affection, journey and discovery. Spanning so much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the unconventional follows the fortunes of the out of the ordinary Whittaker household as led by the enterprising Henry Whittakera negative-born Englishman who makes an ideal fortune within the South American quinine exchange, in the end becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry’s good daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father’s cash and his thoughts), in a roundabout way turns into a botanist of substantial items 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 attracts her within the exact opposite directioninto the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a transparent-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artisthowever what unites this not likely couple is a determined want to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms in the back of all lifestyles.
Exquisitely researched and advised at a galloping %, The Signature of All things soars across the globefrom London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and past. along the best way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the slightly mad. but most memorable of all, it is the story of Alma Whittaker, whoborn in the Age of Enlightenment, but living smartly into the commercial Revolutionbears witness to that extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, faith, commerce, and sophistication were exploding into dangerous new concepts. Written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time, Gilbert’s smart, deep, and spellbinding tale is sure to capture the hearts and minds of readers.