Disclaimer..I'm an Elizabeth Gilbert fan. I adored Eat, Pray, Love and I enjoyed Committed.
The Signature of All Things to me is an odd mix of non-fiction and fiction. Gilbert has mastered the woman in the process of growing ...who feels more awkward than others might assume...which makes her less intimidating and more endearing. We empathize because she is us. Gilbert also melds her obsessions - her botany - into a narrative that those not into botany (plants) can find interesting.
This book isn't a lite romance trifle. Alma is the child of a self made man and we see the factors which shaped him. His wife is equally tough and practical and they raise Alma to be smart and educated. She almost doesn't realize she isn't pretty or graceful until her parents adopt another daughter, who is.
And the narrative continues but I'll make you read it.
Why I loved the book? I learned a lot about botany - plants. I like the dawning of consciousness Alma goes through. The book was a fun read. What I didn't like is that some of the less central characters were poorly drawn and...quite frankly...Gilbert embraces her world and mostly sells it but sometimes falls flat. But that ability is so inspiring I can't take points off for her occasionally going too far.
I'm still a Gilbert fan and am glad I read this book.