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on 16 June 2015
A gripping tale of an incredible woman, Alma Whittaker, living at a time of many scientific discoveries, a meticulous botanist in her own right, an adventurer who lived her early life in an affluent home in Philadelphia but survived incredibly difficult physical trials and tribulations in Tahiti, and ended up in Amsterdam celebrated for her discoveries in botany, specifically moss. I found the book hard to put down. Serious at times; humorous at other times, the story enthralled me.
Sired by a "rags to riches"" father, she was opened to adult scientific discussions at home from an early age, but protected a secret in her daily life. Despite her intelligence, she had little success with her personal relationships: being suddenly confronted in childhood with än "adopted sister" out of the blue, and later with an unconsummated marriage which finally led to the Tahiti episode.
Elizabeth Gilbert delineates a scientific age rich in discoveries very compellingly.
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on 12 November 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed this book which didn't fit conventional storytelling patterns, and as such kept me guessing throughout. This felt like quite delightful novelty. There is something engaging about an unconventional woman who rose above the restrictions of her time and whilst the story does not claim overt feminist perspective, there is much to support this in the characterisation.
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on 23 March 2017
This book has spoilt me for other novels at the moment as it had everything I wanted as well as being beautifully written.
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on 10 October 2016
I loved this book. Excellently written and difficult to put down. To plagiarise a cover review, I really did feel as though I had lived another life.
Keep up with the fiction Ms Gilbert
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on 13 February 2017
I really did enjoy this book. It is extremely well written and I felt as though I was part of the story.

If you are somewhat of a naturalist also you will especially enjoy this as I learned lots reading this.
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on 9 June 2017
This was not my usual read , But having said that found it extremely enjoyable,.fact mingled with fiction I think !!
A lovely descriptive writer,at times felt as if I was part of the story ,.would defiantly recommend it to friends ,.
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on 4 July 2017
I'm not quite sure what to write for this review. This book was nothing like I expected it to be. It's beautifully written and tells a wonderful story of a woman's life. I would recommend it - read it with an open mind and you should enjoy.
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on 17 September 2017
She is brilliant love her books
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on 18 July 2017
A Brilliant, brilliant, book. End of.
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on 27 August 2017
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Wonderful characters so fully drawn. The author must have carried out some incredibly detailed research to have been able to create a storyline that was so credible and compelling. I couldn't put it down.
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