State of Wonder was one of the first books that Jess recommended for me.  It made me fall in love with reading again after a, ahem, seven year hiatus.  It’s fun and fascinating and the story unfolds so beautifully.  A must read!

stateofwonder Flipping Pages: State Of Wonder

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Oooooh…let’s go on an adventure! Into the heart of the Amazon (not my sadly beloved e-commerce site, which wouldn’t count for much of an adventure, unless we planned on making a purchase large enough to stop hearts)! Let’s venture deep into the heart of the jungle with one of my very favorite authors, Ann Patchett. I promise you I will not write the words “jungle” and “fever” together in this post. Crossing heart, hoping to whatever. Although, malaria is a huge issue raised in this lovely romp of a book. But in a more serious way. Seriously.

In State of Wonder, we meet Dr. Marina Singh, a pharmaceutical researcher whose colleague dies after he’s sent into the Amazon to check up on yet another researcher’s progress in developing a valuable mystery drug. The details of her colleague’s death are unclear, his progress unreported. The big guns at the company she works for are anxious to get the famously brilliant and notoriously secretive Dr. Swenson under their control, to begin making lots of money off of her discoveries. So, Marina follows in her dead co-worker’s footsteps, traveling to Brasil and tracking Dr. Swenson all the way to a tiny undiscovered and completely sheltered community deep in the Amazon. We all read Conrad’s Heart of Darkness in high school, right? There are echoes of that story here, but it’s far from an adaptation. There’s mystery and a good bit of suspense around Dr. Swenson’s work. What has she found in the jungle? Will it change the world and modern medicine forever? Was she involved in the death of Marina’s colleague?

I don’t want to say much more and spoil everything for you, but let me just say: this book is just so much fun. I like to travel as much as the next gal, but I don’t have the guts to get on a dingy and disappear into the jungle. Bad stuff happens there. Stuff no one will ever know about. No thanks! I’d rather read about it. Maybe that’s a tiny part of why I loved this book so much. And why you might, too.

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