State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett was a little “out there” for me, but I’ve heard good things about it from other readers.  I like to try to shake things up by reviewing different the genres to provide a something for everyone.  The Kindle edition is the best option price wise.  I also prefer it because the hardcover has such small print.

State of Wonder is for the most part set in the Amazon.  Patchett does an excellent job of capturing the sinister nature of the inhabitants of the jungle, both animal and human.  Marina Singh, a doctor turned pharmacologist, goes down to Brazil to find out what happened to her late colleague.  She also has a past that continues to haunt her, and it was the main reason for the change in career direction.

The interesting part of the story is the development of a fertility drug that could enable women of advanced ages to have children.  The big question is, should older women bear children?  You will find that question raised by Marina’s former professor and colleague, Dr. Swenson.  Dr. Swenson is a major player in the research process surrounding this new drug.

As you will see with the mixed reviews of the book, it is really an individual preference.  I thought it was good, but it didn’t draw me in like some other books that I’ve read have.  State of Wonder was the Amazon Best Book of the Month last June, so it is definitely worth reading.


“t raises issues such as “how do you separate the art from the artist?” Picasso DID put out cigarettes on the arms of his girlfriends, yet we revere him. Also, “how do you handle your heroes?” As an adult, when do you stop idolizing your mentors, and accepting yourself as their equal? Also, “am I my brother’s keeper?” And, when push comes to shove, how much do we really and truly accept “foreigners” as our “brothers?” But still, Ann Patchett knows when to linger on description, and when to roll the plot along full speed ahead… “