George Eliot type novel -- at which she pretty much succeeds, though Gilbert's heroine, botanist Alma Whitaker, does a couple things George Eliot could not have put in her novels if she wanted to (which she probably did).
Here's a line from the book that I like. It gives a feel for the writing style she adopts: "Alma accepted and admired the Lord as the designer and prime mover of the universe, but to her mind He was a daunting, distant, and and even pitiless figure. Any being who could create a world of such acute suffering was not the being to approach for solace from the tribulations of that world. For such solace, one could only turn to the likes of Henneke de Groot [the family's ancient housekeeper]."
- The author's web site
- Barbara Kingsolver's review in The New York Times
- Elizabeth Day's review in The Guardian
- Marie Arana's review in The Washington Post
- Kerri Miller's interview with Elizabeth Gilbert on Minnesota Public Radio