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The Signature of All Things

by 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
 

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