Friday, October 19, 2012

Literary Friday: State of Wonder

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This week I read State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.  Ann also owns one of my very favorite indie bookstores, Paranassas Books, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Ann Patchett is a national treasure.  She is one of the best writers of my generation, and I love State of Wonder.  The plot is a bit of a slow starter, but if you press on, I think you'll love it, too! The story is a fantastic escape, yet Patchett's elegant prose lifts it to literary heights.

Dr. Marina Singh is a research doctor with Vogel, a major pharmaceutical company.  Her lab partner, Dr. Anders Eckman, has died of a fever in the Amazonian jungle while checking on yet another research doctor, Annick Swenson.  Swenson is spending millions of dollars developing a fertility drug that will enable women to delay conception and birth past menopause, and the drug will also make Vogel billion of dollars.  Eckman's widow, Karen, and Marina's boss convince her to travel to the Amazon and find out the details of Eckman's death while also reporting on Swenson's progress.

Marina is used to the wide open prairie skies and cold Minnesotan winters. Nothing could have prepared her for the heat, humidity, and claustrophobic vegetative canopy of the jungle. There are dangers everywhere:  anacondas and poisonous lancehead snakes; insects; cannibal natives wielding poison arrows and darts; and fevers.  The mysterious martin trees' bark combined with excretions from a moth have enabled the native Lakashi women's lifelong fertility.  The jungle is full of miracles, and not just among the Lakashi. The plot is shockingly unpredictable, and the relationships between the characters are wonderfully complicated.  I think an honors ethics class could be based entirely on this book.  I truly loved everything about it, including the science and the ending which made me gasp out loud.

What have you been reading?  This is a linky.

Until next time...
Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

8 comments:

  1. Drat...Google isn't liking me today, lets try this again.

    So I see youa re done with the book. We will have to get together over coffee and chat. Let me know when works for you.

    I was going to do a halloween themed review today but think I'll do my State of Wonder review, I had a bit of a different take on it than you did LOL

    Hope you are having a wonderful friday.
    Hugs
    Caroline

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  2. I will definitely read this!! I am currently reading Gone Girl on Kindle; very intriguing!

    xoxo
    Karena
    2012 Artists Series

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  3. Based on your wonderful review, I am off to check my library to see how soon I can get a copy! Have a great weekend my friend.

    Hugs from Idaho,
    Susan and Bentley

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  4. State of Wonder sounds like a great read. I'll have to add it to my list of books to read. I've always been fascinated by the Amazon Jungle, which I hope to visit one day. Have a great weekend! ~Michelle

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  5. That sounds like how I've felt about Kingsolver novels...I will definitely put it on my library list. Thanks for sharing that!

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  6. Hi Ricki Jill~ I have to confess I was in a State of Wonder wondering what the buzz was all about for the first 1/3 of the book. It finally took off for me and was definitely unpredictable!

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  7. I'm a little slow on getting a review up for A Practical Magic. But I finished it and enjoyed it! Also, saw these today at the NC State Fair and thought of Shanley Belle. The most darling houndstooth sole.

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I read and appreciate all of your comments :D