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State of Wonder

Ann Patchett, acclaimed author of Bel Canto, has written another New York Times Bestseller. State of Wonder takes it's readers from the frigid pharmaceutical company in Minnesota into the heart of the Amazon rainforest. The protagonist in this novel is research scientist Dr. Marina Singh. She is sent into the rainforest to find another researcher, Dr. Annick Swenson, who is working for the same company as her. There have been few reports from Dr. Swenson on her progress and she is for all purposes, impossible to track down. No one knows where she is, and the last person sent to get updates, Dr. Singh's colleague, Anders, died before he could return. The premise of the novel is interesting enough for any reader to want to pick it up, but what makes this novel sublime is the ability Patchett has to completely engross her readers in this foreign world yet still make it connectable. The juxtaposition of the beauty of this wondrous world and the dangers that lie underneath is another highlight of the novel. The only thing I didn't like was the hasty conclusion. Similar to Bel Canto, the climax of the action and adventure is just a few short pages from the ending, leaving much of the wrap-up and reactions to the big-reveal in short sentences that leave a little too much for the reader's imagination. Yet, it was an eye-opening look at two worlds, science and nature, colliding in a majestical environment. And, however much I didn't like the ending, State of Wonder was a fantastic novel that pulls you in and won't let you stop reading until the very end. Rating: ★★★★

The Stolen Child

Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids