It’s a historical novel about Alma Whittaker, the daughter of an enormously successful botanical explorer and businessman, who becomes a botanist herself (botany was one of the few areas of science that really welcomed women), dedicating her life to the study of moss.
Actually, I don’t want to say much more about it because I didn’t know much more than that when I started reading and I was glad…
It sounds dry, but it’s not. It’s funny and charming and joyful and feminist and sexy and wise. There are scenes that will stay with me forever. It took me weeks to read it because I didn’t want it to be over, so I kept reading other books in between. (I’m not sure I’ve ever done that before.) It’s a huge book, but it’s never hard work and I would happily read it again (but I’m actually going to listen to the audio version – read by Juliet Stevenson – instead.)
Read it. Read it. Read it. Really.