Before Elizabeth Gilbert became known as the tell-all, turn-your-life-around memoirist behind Eat, Pray, Love, she was a highly acclaimed short story writer. Whether you love or hate the book that made her name, you’re missing out if you haven’t read her fiction. (Dip your toe in first, with the fine short story ‘The Finest Wife’.) The Signature of All Things is a glorious, sweeping novel about a (clever, tricky, Eleanor-esque) female botanist during the time of Darwin, working on a rival theory of evolution. Alma Whittaker has big bones, plenty of money and a spirit that won’t be broken. But she’ll break your heart.
From our article Books like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine