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State of Wonder
Cover of State of Wonder
State of Wonder
A Novel

"A nail-biting narrative, setting stark human dilemmas against a lush, exotic backdrop."— People

"Extraordinary. . . . Nothing is as it seems, and the ending is as shocking as it's satisfying." — Boston Globe

From award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Ann Patchett, a provocative and assured novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the Amazon rainforest

In a narrative replete with poison arrows, devouring snakes, scientific miracles, and spiritual transformations, State of Wonder presents a world of stunning surprise and danger, rich in emotional resonance and moral complexity.

As Dr. Marina Singh embarks upon an uncertain odyssey into the insect-infested Amazon, she's forced to surrender herself to the lush but forbidding world that awaits within the jungle. Charged with finding her former mentor Dr. Annick Swenson, a researcher who has disappeared while working on a valuable new drug, she will have to confront her own memories of tragedy and sacrifice as she journeys into the unforgiving heart of darkness.

Stirring and luminous, State of Wonder is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss beneath the rain forest's jeweled canopy. Patchett delivers a gripping adventure story and a profound look at the difficult choices we make in the name of discovery and love.

"A nail-biting narrative, setting stark human dilemmas against a lush, exotic backdrop."— People

"Extraordinary. . . . Nothing is as it seems, and the ending is as shocking as it's satisfying." — Boston Globe

From award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Ann Patchett, a provocative and assured novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the Amazon rainforest

In a narrative replete with poison arrows, devouring snakes, scientific miracles, and spiritual transformations, State of Wonder presents a world of stunning surprise and danger, rich in emotional resonance and moral complexity.

As Dr. Marina Singh embarks upon an uncertain odyssey into the insect-infested Amazon, she's forced to surrender herself to the lush but forbidding world that awaits within the jungle. Charged with finding her former mentor Dr. Annick Swenson, a researcher who has disappeared while working on a valuable new drug, she will have to confront her own memories of tragedy and sacrifice as she journeys into the unforgiving heart of darkness.

Stirring and luminous, State of Wonder is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss beneath the rain forest's jeweled canopy. Patchett delivers a gripping adventure story and a profound look at the difficult choices we make in the name of discovery and love.

Available formats-
  • OverDrive Listen
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Subjects-
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    6.7
  • Lexile:
    990
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    5 - 7

Recommended for you

 
Awards-
About the Author-

  • Ann Patchett is the author of eight novels, four works of nonfiction, and two children's books. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the PEN/Faulkner, the Women's Prize in the U.K., and the Book Sense Book of the Year. Her most recent novel, The Dutch House, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. TIME magazine named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is the owner of Parnassus Books.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine The audiobook equivalent of "couldn't put it down" must be "couldn't pause it." There was little pause time during this reviewer's amazing experience of Patchett's new novel. Hope Davis astutely paces the suspenseful odyssey from a sedate Minnesota pharmaceutical lab to the darkest Amazonian jungle. Researcher Marina Singh is dispatched to remote Brazil to investigate a colleague's death while conducting research on a new fertility drug. Davis intuits each of the powerful personas and is particularly memorable as Marina's forceful and didactic 73-year-old mentor, Dr. Swenson, who has remained deliberately incognito as she studies the Lakashi tribe and their medical miracles for decades. Davis expresses a vivid vocal range of ages, as well as Australian, German, and Brazilian accents. Patchett's exquisite prose immerses the listener through the novel's striking climax, which shatters the jungle's ferociously guarded mysteries. A.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 4, 2011
    Patchett (Bel Canto) is a master storyteller who has an entertaining habit of dropping ordinary people into extraordinary and exotic circumstances to see what they're made of. In this expansive page-turner, Marina Singh, a big pharma researcher, is sent by her married boss/lover to the deepest, darkest corner of the Amazon to investigate the death of her colleague, Anders Eckman, who had been dispatched to check on the progress of the incommunicado Dr. Annick Swenson, a rogue scientist on the cusp of developing a fertility drug that could rock the medical profession (and reap enormous profits). After arriving in Manaus, Marina travels into her own heart of darkness, finding Dr. Swenson's camp among the Lakashi, a gentle but enigmatic tribe whose women go on bearing children until the end of their lives. As Marina settles in, she goes native, losing everything she had held on to so dearly in her prescribed Midwestern life, shedding clothing, technology, old loves, and modern medicine in order to find herself. Patchett's fluid prose dissolves in the suspense of this out-there adventure, a juggernaut of a trip to the crossroads of science, ethics, and commerce that readers will hate to see end.

  • Library Journal

    August 1, 2014

    Deep in the Amazon jungle, a research scientist confronts her past and her own mortality, with life-altering consequences. Narrated by Hope Davis. (LJ 10/1/11)

    Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    February 1, 2011
    A pharmacologist travels into the Amazonian heart of darkness in this spellbinder from bestselling author Patchett (Run, 2007, etc.).

    Marina Singh is dispatched from the Vogel pharmaceutical company to Brazil to find out what happened to her colleague Anders Eckman, whose death was announced in a curt letter from Annick Swenson. Anders had been sent to check on Dr. Swenson's top-secret research project among the Lakashi tribe, whose women continue to bear children into their 60s and 70s. If a fertility drug can be derived from whatever these women are ingesting, the potential rewards are so enormous that Swenson has been pursuing her work for years with scant oversight from Vogel; the company doesn't even know exactly where she is in the Amazon. Marina, who went into pharmacology after making a disastrous mistake as an obstetrics resident under Dr. Swenson's supervision, really doesn't want to see this intimidating woman again, but she feels an obligation to her friend Anders and his grief-stricken wife. So she goes to Manaus, seeking clues to Dr. Swenson's location in the jungle. By the time the doctor turns up unexpectedly, Patchett has skillfully crafted a portrait from Marina's memories and subordinates' comments that gives Swenson the dark eminence of Joseph Conrad's Mr. Kurtz. Engaged like Kurtz in godlike pursuits among the natives, Swenson is performing some highly unorthodox experiments, the ramifications of which have even more possibilities than Vogel imagines. Indeed, the multiple and highly dramatic developments that ensue once Marina gets to the Lakashi village might seem ridiculous, if Patchett had not created such credible characters and a dreamlike milieu in which anything seems possible. Nail-biting action scenes include a young boy's near-mortal crushing by a 15-foot anaconda, whose head Marina lops off with a machete; they're balanced by contemplative moments that give this gripping novel spiritual and metaphysical depth, right down to the final startling plot twist.

    Thrilling, disturbing and moving in equal measures--even better than Patchett's breakthrough Bel Canto (2001).

    (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • Booklist

    February 1, 2011
    Marina Singh gave up a career as a doctor after botching an emergency delivery as an intern, opting instead for the more orderly world of research for a pharmaceutical company. When office colleague Anders Eckman, sent to the Amazon to check on the work of a field team, is reported dead, Marina is asked by her companys CEO to complete Anders task and to locate his body. What Marina finds in the sweltering, insect-infested jungles of the Amazon shakes her to her core. For the team is headed by esteemed scientist Annick Swenson, the woman who oversaw Marinas residency and who is now intent on keeping the teams progress on a miracle drug completely under wraps. Marinas jungle odyssey includes exotic encounters with cannibals and snakes, a knotty ethical dilemma about the basic tenets of scientific research, and joyous interactions with the exuberant people of the Lakashi tribe, who live on the compound. In fluid and remarkably atmospheric prose, Patchett captures not only the sights and sounds of the chaotic jungle environment but also the struggle and sacrifice of dedicated scientists. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The award-winning, New York Times best-selling authors latest novel is being supported with an author tour, a national advertising campaign, blogger outreach, and a reading-group guide.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2011, American Library Association.)

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A Novel
Ann Patchett
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