The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Signature of All Things

Elizabeth Gilbert

Riveting, sensuous, surprising, thought-provoking - can this really be the description of a novel about a spinster studying mosses? Take the plunge into this big and generous book and find out ...

Extract

Alma's world and the moss world had been knitted together this whole time, lying on top of each other, crawling over each other. But one of these worlds was loud and large and fast, where the other was quiet and tiny and slow - and only one of these worlds seemed immeasurable.
Alma sank her fingers into the shallow green fur and felt a surge of joyful anticipation. This could belong to her! No botanist before her had ever committed himself uniquely to the study of this undervalued phylum, but Alma could do it ...
... Alma's existence at once felt bigger and much, much smaller - but a pleasant sort of smaller. The world had scaled itself down into endless inches of possibility. Her life could be lived in generous miniature ...
... She had a task.
She would learn mosses.

Parallels
  • Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
  • Jurassic Mary by Patricia Pearce
  • The Conjurer's Bird by Martin Davies

Books with similar mood

Tirzah and the Prince of Crows

Deborah Kay Davies

Mistress

Anita Nair

Uncertain Light

Marion Molteno

Newfoundland

Rebbecca Ray

Measuring Time

Helon Habila

City of Lies

Sam Hawke

The Bear and the Nightingale

Katherine Arden

A Thousand Paper Birds

Tor Udall

The Falls

Joyce Carol Oates

Pinkerton's Sister

Peter Rushforth

Balthasar's Odyssey

Amin Maalouf

The Dream of Scipio

Iain Pears

The Coward's Tale

Vanessa Gebbie

Mosquito

Roma Tearne

City of the Beasts

Isabel Allende

Thus Bad Begins

Javier Marías

Madame

Antoni Libera

The Well of Stars

Robert Reed

While the Gods Were Sleeping

Erwin Mortier

The German Boy

Patricia Wastvedt

The People's Train

Thomas Keneally

The Stranger's Child

Alan Hollinghurst

The Swan Thieves

Elizabeth Kostova

A Gate at the Stairs

Lorrie Moore

The Night of the Mi'raj

Zoe Ferraris

Pyrrhus

Mark Merlis

Ancestor Stones

Aminatta Forna

Under a Pole Star

Stef Penney

Endgame

Ahmet Altan

Tricks of the Light

Alison Fell

Consolation

Anna Gavalda

This Body

Tessa McWatt

Tender Morsels

Margo Lanagan

Saturday

Ian McEwan

The Gift of Rain

Tan Twan Eng

The Inheritance of Loss

Kiran Desai

A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar

Suzanne Joinson

Solace

Belinda McKeon

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Muriel Barbery

The Friends of Meager Fortune

David Adams Richards

The Deadman's Pedal

Alan Warner

Angelmaker

Nick Harkaway

The Pregnant Widow

Martin Amis

Private Life

Jane Smiley

On Cape Three Points

Christopher Wakling

Sex and Genius

Conrad Williams

In America

Susan Sontag

Cryer's Hill

Kitty Aldridge

A Year of Marvellous Ways

Sarah Winman