Wednesday, November 30, 2011

State of Wonder - Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett has written some pretty good books - I consider Bel Canto one of my favorites and I keep meaning to go back and re-read it, but I worry it won't be as good the second time around.  But, she is one of those writers that I am excited about, and eager to read her latest as soon as it comes out.  My mother-in-law let me borrow her hard-back copy, but it took me months to get to it.  The premise of this one seemed a little odd to me.  Marina Singh, a research scientist, is sent to the Amazon to track down the elusive Dr. Swenson who is working on a valuable new drug.  Marina reluctantly goes down, hoping the trip will be a quick one (and we all know it won't be)...once found, Marina still has to take on the awesome task of convincing Dr. Swenson to tell her about the progress of the research, and plans for finalizing the drug for market.  As always, Patchett's writing is immediately engaging and while I found some of the dialogue frustrating and Dr. Swenson in general infuriating (as does almost everyone else in the novel), I enjoyed the story which reminded me a great deal of Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible - not in terms of subject matter per se, but just in terms of the way the story was told.  The ending came a bit to quick and required a great deal of suspension of disbelief, but overall a worthwhile read.

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