Wednesday, January 18, 2012

State of Wonder: An Amazon Adventure

If you are not already a fan of Ann Patchett from past hits such as Bel Canto and Run, now is the time to add her to your bookshelf with her new novel State of Wonder.  A refreshing combination of mystery, travel, and scientific exploration, this book will hold you until its conclusion.  With surprises around every corner, she creates an environment and characters that both captivate the reader and makes one consider the dilemmas and decisions the central characters encounter.

Pharmaceutical researcher Dr. Marina Singh is sent to the Amazon after her coworker mysteriously dies at a scientific camp.  The purpose of her trip is to find Dr. Anneck Swenson and not only check in on the progress of her research but also deliver this crucial information, and hopefully a result, to the parent company.  Mystery shrouds the entirety of the trip from locating Dr. Swenson to discovering more about the monumental research occurring in the jungle.  Along the way, Marina tackles scientific queries while also struggling with moral and ethical dilemmas that reach their peak toward the conclusion of the book. 

With surprises along the way including the details of the prior relationship between Marina and Anneck, Patchett unveils this fascinating story in the ultimate setting of wonder, the jungles of Amazon.  The location adds as much suspense and mystery as the plotline itself as Marina adjusts from life in Minnesota to the climate and wildlife found along the river.   Between satisfying a sense of wanderlust and the curiosity from riddles posed and solved, Patchett’s State of Wonder is definitely one not to be missed.

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