Book Review: The Signature of All Things

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In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker—a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry’s brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father’s money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma’s research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction — into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist — but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.

-Goodreads

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Five real life truths I’ve learned from writing fiction:

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The characters are more important than the plot. This one someone might debate with me, but I stand firm on it. If you have a good plot with really terrible characters you have a bad book. You need characters you can relate too or at least somewhat understand. If you have amazing characters with good character development and the stories plot line isn’t that great, you’re book is at least somewhat decent.

Life is a lot like this. Our life stories might not be the most interesting. We can’t all have the one in a million success stories that we hear about on TV. We all have interesting points in our lives, we all do amazing things, but our whole lives aren’t going to be filled with that kind of excitement, and that’s okay, our stories are still great, because we’re the lead characters and who we are is enough. We’re all interesting, we’re all unique, we all have amazing character development. Our lives are all worth reading.

Everything has a lesson. What’s the moral of the story? It’s a question you should have an answer to at the end of every book, if you don’t have one then I don’t know what kind of book you just wrote, but it’s probably not the most valuable piece of literature. Everything that happens in a story should lead to something else, every event should have lessons that we bring to the next plot point, just like everything that happens in our life should be learned from. The world is full of knowledge. Every mistake and every success promises more and more of it, if we ignore the lessons we aren’t ever going to develop our own stories.

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Book Review: Pillars of Salt

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Pillars of Salt is the story of two women confined in a mental hospital in Jordan during and after the British Mandate. After initial tensions they become friends and share their life stories                  -GoodReads

I tried to find a better synopsis, so I went to Amazon… they got the plot wrong and mixed up two characters story? So here is this two sentence synopsis from good reads that does not do this book justice.

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