Monday, January 14, 2013

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

The miracles, secrets and mysticism of the Amazon jungle are abundant in the hypnotic pages of Ann Patchett’s latest novel State of Wonder.

Marina Singh is a medical researcher for a pharmaceutical company based in Minnesota.  She’s been working alone in a Minnesota lab since her partner, Anders Eckman, was sent to the Amazon to assess the progress of a major project.  Marina is shocked to learn that Anders has died of a fever in the jungles of Brazil.  There were no personal effects or earthly remains to be sent home to his grieving family, raising even more questions about his untimely death.  Marina travels to the rainforests of Brazil to uncover the specifics of Anders’ death and any details about the wonder drug under development.

The pharmaceutical research venture, shrouded in secrecy, is headed by the illusive Dr. Annick Swenson.  Dr. Swenson traveled to the jungle to work with her mentor decades before.  She stayed to pursue her study of the virtually magical effects of an indigenous tree bark on a local tribe.  As she and the other scientists ingest the mysterious plants, their lives and perceptions of the world change forever. 

For more lyrical, psychological fiction try additional titles by Ann Patchett and the novels of Charles Frazier.

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