Right off the bat, this book had two strikes against it before I even opened the cover. First, it takes place in South America, and my record of finding any novel with that setting engaging was next to zero. Second, I had just read Lily King’s Euphoria, which also deals with the scientific study of remote tribes, and since I that book fell flat with me, I wasn’t looking forward to reading another book which featured that subject matter.
So I was very surprised to find that I loved this book. Patchett writes an engaging story of science, study, and morality that grabbed me from the very first pages of State of Wonder. I loved the characters and Patchett’s portrayal of the Amazon rain-forest from the point of view of an non-acclimated American doctor. Dr. Marina Singh is sent to the Amazon headquarters of a research facility by her employer, to find information about the progress of their lead researcher and, in part, to find out the details surrounding her co-worker’s recent death. The author manages to create a novel of intrigue and wonder that kept me wanting to find out what was going to happen next. In addition, Patchett posed some important questions within the context of science and ethics, that definitely give the reader cause for introspection. Fantastic book!
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2011