The Signature of All Things by Liz Gilbert
Pageturner’s Book Selection December
Well, as is evident, I didn’t reach my goal for the Reader’s Advisory. I had attempted to read a book a week, but with Anne Rice setting me back, then the fire, then Christmas was upon us…I came up short. I hope this serves as an example to all of us to not stop reading, even if we slow to barely perceptible progress. Reading from a list wasn’t easy, either. It was almost like assigned reading back in high school. However, I found some gems that I would have never picked up if it hadn’t been for this challenge. I highly recommend you step out of your comfort zone at least once or twice a year. Pick up your best friend’s favorite book. Ask someone you admire or find intelligent for a recommendation. Join my book club! Trust me, there is ZERO pressure. When we met to discuss this one, one of us hadn’t cracked the spine, one of us had read it a year ago and couldn’t recall much of it, and, well, I was about 100 pages in. Don’t be intimidated by thick books, you still just read them one page at a time.
This book captivated me…for approximately 200 pages. I was rooting for Henry the urchin and purely delighted to read about homely Alma and her stalwart pony. But then, Beatrix dies and Retta moves away and all the life just drains away. The magic is gone.
What was I expecting from a book where the lead character is a moss botanist? Surely not daring tales, startling secrets, and steamy romances?
I expect full throttle from all my reads! And this had them, just on a much lesser scale. I dearly hoped Prudence was a villain (she would have made a great one), I wished for more grandiose details on the opulence of White Acre, and I was definitely disappointed in Alma’s romantic conquests. How very drab. It takes her almost a lifetime to seek what she desires. A lifetime to live! As she says to the tree at the end, “You and I are very far from home, aren’t we?” And she’s way past due.
If you’re looking for a crawling plot and a serene landscape, you’ve found your book. The prose is poetic, make no mistake, but prepare to feel melancholy for weeks on end. Personally that’s one of my least favorite emotions.
Happy New Year and I hope each of you find some wonderful books to share and enjoy this year. Please feel free to follow me on my blog, amysappalachia.com for book reviews and general merriment.
Amy Johnson, Guest Blogger in Residence 2016
Book #49 of 52