The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert


I spent most of October in Victoria learning things. Things from books, things from people, things about myself, things about the world, things about peacocks. All sorts of things. And I met the most incredible people, one of whom suggested I should read this book. It was a very good suggestion.

I’d only heard of Elizabeth Gilbert in the same sentences as Eat, Pray, Love, which doesn’t get favorable reviews in my social circle. This book, though – you’re all going to read it now. I’m going to make you. Not by force, but by relentless nagging, which I am very good at. I will also bribe you with baked goods. Failing that, I’ll put the book in front of you and sit there threateningly ’til you start reading it.

God, I love a good historical novel. This is a great historical novel. The only thing I’m wishing is that the darned thing was longer, and it’s already 500 pages. I wanted more of this story. It’s about Alma Whittaker, the daughter of a botanist, born in 1800. It’s her whole life story, and it’s got basically everything you could want in a book: spirituality, romance, betrayal, magic, science, you name it. Alma is a terrifically rounded character, as are all the characters in this book, and the journey she goes on through this novel is (I think, anyway) why Karen recommended I read this book. And it was a reminder, a really great reminder for 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, of all the reasons to be contented in my life. To feel fortunate.

I have a sleeping cat who snores and gets embarrassed when he falls off things. I just ate a really good bowl of brussel sprouts. I have the capacity and opportunity to read 40 books in one month. I am about to go to Matthew’s house and ring in a new year with my favourite people.

On that note: I’m going to go to Matthew’s and ring in the new year with my favourite people. And I’m not going to read any books tomorrow, though I may flip to a few dog-eared pages of this one. Thanks again, Karen. I really, really mean that.

Books read: 40




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