Sunday, September 25, 2011

State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett

Oh my gracious.  That was quite a book.  The story begins with Marina Singh, a pharmacologist, learning of the death of her office mate in the Amazon.  She is urged by her boss and lover, Mr. Fox, to go to the Brazil and complete the mission of Anders, but resists until the request is echoed by Anders's wife who needs to know more about the death of her husband than was relayed in a letter from the creepy Dr. Swenson.  Dr. Swenson, who was once and ill-fatedly Marina's teacher at Johns Hopkins, is conducting fertility research funded by Marina and Ander's employer among the Lakashi people who bear children well into their 70s.  The twist of fate at the end of the novel rips at the heart, and the many unanswered questions make the sudden ending a bit of a betrayal.

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