Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia, accomplishes a great work in her book The Signature of All Things. For some one who has had a best seller like Eat, Pray, Love, the task of writing another book can be daunting, especially a book that is so different than her bestseller.

Gilbert tells the story of a woman, Alma, who comes from a family whose knowledge of botany proved very profitable in America in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. As Gilbert tells Alma’s story, she interweaves details of life during this time period, especially for women. Alma is smart and strong and receives the benefit of a father who believes women should be educated and is allowed to pursue her own studies, which lead her on a journey she never thought she’d take.

This book reminds the reader of how much there is yet to discover about the world and oneself even in a world filled with technological advances and quick, easy searches.