Book Review: The Signature of all Things & Before I met You

The signature of all Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

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Blurb: ”A glorious, sweeping novel of desire, ambition, and the thirst for knowledge, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Exquisitely researched and told at a galloping pace, The Signature of All Things soars across the globe — from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond. Along the way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the quite mad.”

my thoughts:3 out of 5. This is a hard book to judge. If I condense it to the overall theme and story its quite an interesting story of humanity and the way we are related. However it is a bit dense to read, and if you are not into botany, then there are parts that just drag on. Some of the concepts that the story evokes are quite interesting. Especially the two main ones: That of differences of time. I.e. the exposition that the author believed in three times: Human Time( the narrative of limited  mortal history) Divine Time (incomprehensible eternity) and Geological Time (pace of stones and mountains). The other was the actual title of the books, which relates to Boheme’s theories that nature was a divine code, which he called The signature of all things. This theory states that God had hidden clues for humanity’s betterment inside every natural thing on earth. These discourses were interesting, but all in all i think the book lacked focus in that I really would’t know what category to place it in, maybe I would call it Scientific Fiction.  Additionally it had another great fault for me, and that is that it does not have one relatable character. I found all characters to be insufferable, and whilst great books have been made of terrible characters, these I did not find as interesting to oversee their shortcomings!

Before I Met You by Lisa Jewell

Before I Met You

Blurb:  Having grown up on the quiet island of Guernsey, Betty Dean can’t wait to start her new life in London. On a mission to find Clara Pickle – the mysterious beneficiary in her grandmother’s will – she arrives in grungy, 1990s Soho, ready for whatever life has to throw at her. Or so she thinks… In 1920s bohemian London, Arlette – Betty’s grandmother – is starting her new life in a time of post-war change. Beautiful and charismatic, Arlette is soon drawn into the hedonistic world of the Bright Young People. But less than two years later, tragedy strikes and she flees back to Guernsey for the rest of her life. As Betty searches for Clara, she is taken on a journey through Arlette’s extraordinary time in London, uncovering a tale of love, loss and heartbreak. Will the secrets of Arlette’s past help Betty on her path to happiness?

My Thoughts: 4.5 of 5. I really loved this book. Pretty addictive to read, and most of all lead characters that are utterly relatable. I really enjoyed the dual narrative, part of it in the 20s and part of it in the 90s. I also enjoyed the twists of the story. Things did not end up where you expected them half way through and that is always something to look forward to. The descriptions in the book were great, i felt like i really was in a 20s underground club sometimes!

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