State of Wonder by Ann Patchett...a review

[2011]
I had not previously read any Ann Patchett before State of Wonder, but I definitely plan to at least check out her bestseller, Bel Canto, now that I am familiar with the kind of smooth, strong writing she is capable of. In State of Wonder, Patchett provides easy to imagine depictions of atypical scenarios that are so vastly different from anything I have yet to experience, and she seems to do so effortlessly.

Patchett introduces us to Dr. Marina Singh,  a pharmaceutical employee who is living a rather mundane and otherwise forgettable existence. This is a female whose insecurities, overall lack of confidence, and general apathy bothered me quite a bit in the beginning. Marina is specifically selected to follow the path of another researcher also employed by the company.  The other doctor, Dr. Swenson, is researching a plant deep in an Amazonian village that has the potential to increase women's birthing possibilities. However, Swenson does not keep the company updated on her progress and when an event out of the ordinary happens to the last doctor that was sent to check up on her, Marina is next in line and expected to bridge the lack of communication. 

If Marina can be described as extremely non-committal about life in general, Dr. Swenson is anything but. Swenson is as sharp tongued, focused, and seriously void of compassion as the grandmother from Flowers in the Attic, who I believe to be the epitome of a real bitch. The Amazon, an integral character all on its own, is as anyone would assume, very difficult in every aspect. 

The story is good...different, and most definitely worth reading. There is one scene involving an anaconda that is simultaneously hilarious, petrifying, and completely unforgettable. 

15 bucks at Costco!



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