Saturday, July 16, 2011

STATE OF WONDER by Ann Patchett


  • Pub. Date: June 2011

  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers


  • Format: NOOK Book (eBook)

Ann Patchett raises the bar with State of Wonder, a provocative and ambitious novel set deep in the Amazon jungle.

Research scientist Dr. Marina Singh is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have disappeared in the Amazon while working on an extremely valuable new drug. The last person who was sent to find her died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding answers to the questions about her friend's death, her company's future, and her own past.

Once found, Dr. Swenson is as imperious and uncompromising as ever. But while she is as threatening as anything the jungle has to offer, the greatest sacrifices to be made are the ones Dr. Swenson asks of herself, and will ultimately ask of Marina.

State of Wonder is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss. It is a tale that leads the reader into the very heart of darkness, and then shows us what lies on the other side.


Since her auspicious debut, Ann Patchett has crafted a handful of elegant novels, garnering several accolades and awards along the way. But her real breakthrough occurred with 2001's Bel Canto, a taut, psychological thriller set in the claustrophobic confines of an embassy under siege in South America. Winning both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize, Bel Canto catapulted Patchett into the ranks of bestselling authors.

As if to prove her versatility, Patchett departed from fiction for 2004's Truth & Beauty, the heartbreaking account of her longstanding, difficult friendship with the late Lucy Grealy, a gifted writer whose disfigurement from cancer precipitated a tragic descent into addiction and death. This memoir won several literary awards and appeared on many end-of-year best books lists. 


  1. I didn't like this as much as everyone else did - the middle dragged for me. I still liked it a lot - just didn't love it.

  2. Exactly my problem, I thought Patchett dragged the story on in the middle, I kept thinking...this would be a great vehicle for a great story...but it sort of died. I like Ann Patchett for her earlier novels and gave her a high point, perhaps not deserved...she still is a favorite author.

  3. I liked Bel Canto so am sure I'd like this one.