Donnerstag, 19. Februar 2015

[Read along] The Signature of all Things - Elizabeth Gilbert

I'm currently reading this book by Elizabeth Gilbert and I find that it is quite unknown on the internet so I thought that I want to raise awareness for it. But I'm kind of bored with the usual review so it is time to do another 'read along'!

I have already done this in German and enjoyed it very much so now I'm going to do it in English, too.
It works like this: Every time I have read 100 pages of the book I will post an update on my opinion and my feelings while reading. As this book has almost exactly 500 pages I will be posting five updates until I'm finished.

For those who find the updates too much to read I will also be writing a conclusion which will be a very short summary of my impressions.

So, I hope that you will enjoy this as much as I do and here comes the first update:

Page 1-100
'The Signature of all Things' is about Alma Whittaker, daughter of Henry Whittaker who is a passionate botanist living in Philadelphia in the 19th century. She is very well educated and intelligent but not at all beautiful in contrast to her sister Prudence. Like her father Alma develops a passion for botany and it is also a very big part of the story up to now.
The beginning was kind of slow as the book starts out by telling Henry's story which is interesting but not really exciting. But I do like Elizabeth Gilbert's writing style and also the setting although I would prefer it if the author showed some more of America at that time.
I think it was particularly slow because I wasn't able to connect with any of the Whittakers, everyone seems to be cold and unemotional. This did get better though as the story went on and I started liking Alma so I have high hopes that I will enjoy this books even if it isn't a pageturner really.

Page 101-200
Alma's story went on and all the time I wondered what Elizabeth Gilbert tried to do with this book, where she's going with it and why she wrote it in the first place.
Shortly, I don't see any motive or purpose in Alma's life, she just leads such a dull life. At least new characters were introduced who brought this story to life but as fast as they appeared they were also taken away again. I can't help but slipping into a kind of lethargy while reading this book.
The bright side is that I still enjoy the author's writing style but I can't help but wishing for it to be more fast-paced.

Page 201-300
These 100 pages were a bit less slow and more interesting which made it easier for me to stick to reading and not making little breaks inbetween. Still I don't like Alma's personality very much which is kind of a problem.
I keep wishing that this book was shorter than it is although I don't hate it. I do enjoy reading it, I just can't claim that it is a very exciting or fascinating book.
What I did like was that the characters finally showed some emotions, unfortunately a bit to late for my taste as I can't connect with any of them. I feel like everyone of them behaves kind of unnaturally which gave me an impression of absurdity sometimes.

Page 301-400
My hopes began to fade again as all the interesting characters were taken from the plot, it was only Alma and as I have mentioned before I find her really dull. This didn't change throughout the wohle book.
Nothing really happened, the story slowed down until I didn't know why I was reading this book anymore.

Page 401-499
It did not get better and then I started skimming the pages to finally get it over with this book. I thought maybe there would be something that would catch my attention again, but no, there wasn't. In the end I was only relieved that it was over.
So, technically I didn't read the last 60 pages but I don't really care. This book was kind of a torture so I will definitely count it as read. I really made an effort not to abandon it.

I have not read 'Eat Pray Love' but I advise you to stick to that one before buying this book by Elizabeth Gilbert.


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