Wednesday 8 May 2013

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

 You know the feeling when you finish a book and feel lost?  That is how I felt after I finished this.  I wished it had been far longer.  I found myself slowing down while I was reading it so that I wouldn't come to the end, and this in spite of wanting to know, needing to know, what happened.

It's almost impossible to categorise the novel which was, unsurprisingly to me, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012. It's in part an adventure, a mystery, a romance of sorts, a medical novel, and with a little science fiction thrown in for good measure.  It will remain with you in your thoughts for some time after you have finished reading it, I feel sure.

It starts off in the USA where Marina Singh works as a pharmacologist for a pharmaceutical company.  She is sent to Brazil  to find out what is happening in the development of a new drug where the research is being carried out deep in the Amazon jungle.  The new drug is expected to lengthen the period of women's fertility well beyond the menopause.  Some of the characters are better drawn than others but they all come across as real, with their own virtues and failings. 

 Highly recommended.

State of Wonder is available from with a different cover image.

And also available from Amazon UK
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