Sunday, December 9, 2012

Book Review: State of Wonder

State Of Wonder
By Ann Patchett
My copy

State of Wonder, is based on scientific facts that take place in the Amazon Jungle. I remember as a child in school, the teacher being the devil's advocate. About science, and researchers going to the Amazon to locate wonder drugs. But, the unfortunate thing was the companies were taking, but not giving back to the community in the Amazon Jungle. But, things are changing for the better in the Amazon.

The story takes place in the Amazon Jungle in South America and the Midwest in Missouri.  This is the story of two researchers Dr. Singh, and Eckman. They work for a pharmaceutical company, looking for the wonder drugs in the Amazon.  The pharmaceutical company has Dr. Swenson in the Amazon already in the looking for bark, the wonder drug or ingredient for fertility. Dr. Swenson.  But, no one has heard hide nor hair from her for two years. She has not updated the pharmaceutical company of what has been going on in two years.  This has the pharmaceutical company worried.

The book gives you the feel of the lost civilization of the Amazon. With insects, bugs, snakes, tribal societies.

The drug is suppose to help fertility in woman. Why women in the Amazon at age 70 can produce children?  At the same time this drug can help with Malaria. It turns out Dr. Swenson is pregnant at age 70 too.

Mr. Fox, has asked Anders, Marina's collegue to locate Dr. Swenson in the Amazon.  Ander's has family back home. Marina wonders why she was not asked. Since Anders has family that are alive and well.   Marina is not married with children. Why was she not asked by Mr. Fox?  When Anders goes down to the Amazon.  Mr. Fox is notified that Anders is killed, but there is not a body to identify.  Anders wife believes he is not dead.

Mr. Fox then asks Marina to go down to the Amazon and locate Dr. Swenson.  She happens to be Marina's mentor in medical school.  Marina does trek down to the Amazon.  But, she is a secret hidden away from a couple.   I did enjoy reading about the envoirment of the Amazon.

My Review: My forte is historical fiction, but also novels that deal with science fascinate me.  But, for some reason I could not connect with the characters.

But,  I enjoyed reading about the Amazon, and the culture.   But, for some reason I could not connect with the characters. Our book club discussed the book, and most of us felt the same way. I read this book, about a month ago, so my feelings about the book are a bit fuzzy. 

The novel does bring up some discussion about the rain forest, and the companies that take from the environment  But, what I understand now, it is a lot different than what it was like years ago.  Used to be, companies were take, take, take rubber, cocoa with out giving back to the Amazon.  But, I hear things are different now. 

The other thing, you can't fool with mother nature. Are bodies are meant to carry babies at a certain time. As we get older, our bodies are not as strong as they used to be.  Having children after menopausal age, is not a natural thing. 


Melissa Mc (Gerbera Daisy Diaries) said...

I read this for book club too -- it was an odd book -- but it did make for an interesting discussion. I think I gave it 3 stars as well.

bermudaonion said...

I thought this book started slow, then gained momentum, but the ending just didn't work for me.