Friday, November 23, 2012

State of Wonder; Book Review

State of Wonder
By Ann Patchett

I read State of Wonder because it was up my alley.  A story based on scientific facts.  I thought reading about the Amazon, would take me away to a exotic place.

When I was a teenager, I remember our high school teachers discussing the pharmaceutical companies and the Amazon rain forest.  The barks of trees had medicinal value.  The companies, not just pharmaceutical companies, were taking, and  destroying the rain forest and not giving back to the Amazon.

 Here is my take on the story of, State of Wonder.

The story takes place in Minnesota, and eventually takes us to the Amazon Rainforest.  The book opens up with Marina Singh's pharmaceutical scientist collegue, Anders Eckmann.  He is asked to travel to the Amazon to find Dr. Swenson.  Dr. Swenson's has found woman, from a certain tribe,  Lakashi tribe are able to conceive and give birth after the age of 70. She is there to locate " miracle herbs" But, no one has seen hide, nor hair of her in two years.

The company has asked Ander's to go down to the Amazon, and locate her and find out where she is on the project.  He travels to the Amazon.  He is there for quite awhile, and he never does locate Dr. Swenson. He is presumed dead.  But, he's wife never accepts he's death.

Marina Sigh, then assigned by her boss, and lover of Vox Pharmaceuticals to go down to the Amazon to locate he's body, and find Dr. Swenson.  Dr. Swenson was Marina's professor, and mentor in medical school. There is a secret of the fertility experiments are also doing research of the malaria drug, and there is a connection of both, the malaria experiments would not benefit Vox Pharmaceuticals.

The complication that adds to the story is the couple, is interfering with Dr. Singh job locating Dr. Swenson. They are blocking  Dr. Singh's assignment to find Dr. Swenson.  Then there is a little boy Easter,  a blind boy, Acker's took under his wing.  Dr. Singh, also took a shining to Easter.   She cares about him very much, and grows to love him as her own. 

The book takes you away to the rainforest. You could feel the natural habitat of the rainforest with snakes, insects, disease, etc.  It made me feel like I was really there in the rainforest. It reminded me as a little kid, a ride we would take in the amusement park, full of head hunters, and forest, and waterfalls, etc.

One part that I thought was interesting, was the author combined music of opera, and science together in her writing. Reminded me of her novel, Bel Canto.

 What I did not understand was how would there be a opera house in the middle of the Amazon. Then out of no where Dr. Singh finds Dr. Swenson at the opera, sitting behind her. A chance meeting, or what?  It did not make sense to me.  Maybe that is where it fell apart for me.

 I could not connect with the characters, and understanding their motivation. I am not sure, why I did not care, or connect with the story.  I really wanted to like the story especially when the place was character.  It reminded of Indiana Jones movies.

 I read many people liked State of Wonder. I was just not one of them.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I liked this one up until the end. I didn't think Marina and Anders would do what they did. It seemed out of character to me.

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