Not what I expected from the author of Eat, Pray, Love, this novel is written in the old-fashioned style of prose popular in the nineteenth century, when the story takes place. It's a long, sweeping novel, but it held my interest for the week or so it took for me to read it.
Alma Whitaker is such a great character I wanted to stay with her story to see what happened to her next, and to see if she ever found happiness.
Alma is a precocious, smart little girl raised in an emotionally chilly household. Her quest to know everything eventually focuses on mosses. Yes, there is more than one moss, something I did not know. There's a lot in this book I did not know, which made it worth reading.
Gilbert raises some good questions: what do we need to be happy? what is a fulfilling life? do we ever get over our childhood?
Recommended for when you have the time to sink into a long, good story well told.