Thursday, November 10, 2011

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Marina Singh loves her job as a researcher at a large pharmaceutical company.  She also loves where she lives in frigid Minnesota.  But when a close colleague doesn’t return from his attempt to track down an elusive researcher in the Amazon she is sent to both check on the status of the fertility research in the jungle and find out the details of her colleague’s death.

This novel really reminded me of Heart of Darkness – the jungle is a ferocious, exotic and completely alien place.  Patchett makes the Amazon and its inhabitants a lush and multi-dimensional being, really allowing the reader to walk in Marina’s shoes. 

At the core this is a story about medical ethics.  Just because medicine can alter the human body, should it do so?  What are the consequences of each new discovery?  Are some discoveries too value to humankind to attach a price to?  If so, who does pay the price?

Join the Popular Fiction Book Discussion Group at the Bridgewater Library on Tuesday, December 13th at 7pm as we talk about this novel.  Sign up online or call the Adult Reference Desk (908-526-4016 x 105) to register.