I give this one 4 stars! This is historical fiction following a family of Botonists begining with trade in medicinal herbs. This business was quite lucerative and the successful not only located the valuable herbs, but then determined how the valuable plants might be grown in a more convienient location, on the property of the trader. The Whittaker family leaves europe for opportunities in the new world. They are unconventional and are not bothered by the dictates of society. They rather surround themselves with learned individuals of fame and conduct debate at the dinner table. Growing up in this atmosphere, the main character, Alma Whittaker becomes a precousious child and a famous botonist in her own right. Her physical characteristics do not draw suiters to her door and she is resigned to this fact of life. This does not exclude her from love, or sex, but her love life is frought with problems.
Her story touches on Darwin's discovery of evolution, but was he really the first? She becomes involved with two very unusual men After her fathers death, she spends years in Tahiti. The story comes full circle when she returns, late in life to find the family her parents left behind in europe. I found this book to be well written and also had an unusual and entertaining story as well as characters. I reccommend this to adult fans of historical fiction.