Elizabeth Gilbert is best known for her memoir Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia, which entails her experiences in three different countries pursuing three different sensory and spiritual ways of life. The book was a huge bestseller, a popular book club title and a movie starring Julia Roberts. Gilbert’s next book, called Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage is a bit of a follow-up to Eat, Pray, Love and offers various views on marriage. If you missed the books or the DVD, you can find all three at the Monrovia Public Library. And you can also find Gilbert’s newest book.
What is quite surprising to readers is Elizabeth Gilbert’s recently published book The Signature of All Things, her first work of fiction in thirteen years. It is an involved family tale set in the 18th and 19th centuries, worthy of Austen or Dickens, and is about the Whittaker family, whose patriarch rose from being the son of a gardener to a wealthy import/export tycoon. It is his daughter Alma who is the main character. She is educated, a botanist and a spinster whose world is her home in Philadelphia. However, she finds an intellectual kinship with an artist whom she marries, but never really achieves the kind of relationship she desires. That artist is the spark that sets Alma on a world journey where her new experiences bring changes in her life.
If you have shied away from Elizabeth Gilbert because you thought her books were a wee bit touchy feely, now is the time to look for her. The Signature of All Things is a terrifically engaging book that will keep you reading long beyond your bedtime.