State of Wonder
Title: State of Wonder
Author: Ann Patchett
Researcher Marina Singh is sent by her boss at Vogel, a drug manufacturer, to the jungles of Brazil following the death of a co-worker. It is there that the company is looking into a miracle drug based on a tree bark used by a native tribe. Upon her arrival, Marina must find out the circumstances of her colleague’s death, as well as find out why work has slowed to a crawl on the drug.
Ann Patchett raises the bar with State of Wonder, a provocative and ambitious novel set deep in the Amazon jungle.
Research scientist Dr. Marina Singh is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have disappeared in the Amazon while working on an extremely valuable new drug. The last person who was sent to find her died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding answers to the questions about her friend’s death, her company’s future, and her own past.
Once found, Dr. Swenson is as imperious and uncompromising as ever. But while she is as threatening as anything the jungle has to offer, the greatest sacrifices to be made are the ones Dr. Swenson asks of herself, and will ultimately ask of Marina.
State of Wonder is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss. It is a tale that leads the reader into the very heart of darkness, and then shows us what lies on the other side.