by Elizabeth Gilbert

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Review

I admit, I was hesitant to read this latest book by Elizabeth Gilbert, whom you'll probably remember as the author of the wildly popular Eat, Pray, Love. It was precisely because of my not-so-great-fondness of Eat, Pray Love that I approached this new title with reluctance. Well, I did like parts of Eat, Pray, Love - especially the parts about pizza and all of the wonderful food in Italy, but overall, I lost interest long before the end of the book, which I skimmed (Please don't tell Liz. That's what she likes to be called - Liz. We're on a first name basis.). Recently, I'd attended a speaking engagement at Denver University where the charming and extremely kind Ms. Gilbert talked about her writing experience and her creation of this book. She disclosed how painful the publication of this book was for her because she was afraid her readers wouldn't like it. After all, it's rather difficult to outdo a huge mega-seller like Eat, Pray, Love. She likened the publication of Signature to lowering an adorable puppy into a tank full of hungry sharks, patting the pup on the head and saying, "There you go."  I liked the woman. She was brilliant, funny and incredibly sweet, yet I still approached The Signature of All Things with trepidation.

Once I started reading The Signature of All Things, I couldn't put the thing down! I wanted the book to go on for another 512 pages! I'm a huge fan of well-crafted historical fiction, but have had a hard time finding recent books in that genre that make me fall in love with them. Even the members of my book club, who don't normally like historical epics, liked this book. I was absorbed in the unconventional world of Alma Whittaker. I mourned her losses. I reveled in her successes and adventures. I can't recommend this book highly enough. It's at the top of my "Best of 2013" list.

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