I sat on writing this review for a couple of days, because like the other Ann Patchett books I’ve read, it sits with you, haunts you, makes you keep thinking about the book, the characters and I feel like I needed a few days to write about what I thought about it.
I’m still torn between the 3 – 4 star rating. Let’s just go with 3.5 shall we?
State of Wonder concerns primarily, Dr. Marina Singh, Dr. Annick Swenson and Dr. Anders Eckman. Dr. Marina Singh is sent to find the remains and effects of a presumed dead Anders, but must first locate the famous and reclusive gynecologist, Dr. Swenson who is in charge of the research that their employer Vogel pharmaceuticals is anxiously awaiting results and progress reports. Dr. Swenson is researching the women of a local tribe who can conceive well past middle age, and other secret remedies. She and her research are totally off limits except to a chosen few, just she and her research team.
Marina Singh is a bit of a wishy-washy, hapless, forgetful heroine, with an interesting family history and medical school “issues”, Annick Swenson is a woman you love to hate, a person that frustrates you and at the same time creates a great sense of respect. And this is where I forgave the plot for being a tad drawn out, because I remembered that Patchett creates wonderful, unforgettable character-driven novels. Characters, as I mentioned above that you love to hate, want to wrap your arms around and just spend far more time that you are given with. One in particular is the native boy, Easter. My heart still breaks and cries for Easter.
All I can say is that travelling to the Amazon in my near future is a definite no-go – too crazy scary. And that Patchett so clearly leaves this book open for more – Marina MUST return to the Amazon and she MUST get Easter! She just has to go!! Easter! Go get him! (and she must also discover her love for the research in the Amazon and that she could very well be pregnant…) So, many loose ends at the ending, but a very good read that will stick with you for days after finishing it. I do recommend reading it, in fact I did pass it along to Jackie. It’s Ann Patchett, she cannot do much wrong in my opinion.