State of Wonder: A Novel

Paperback | May 8, 2012

byAnn Patchett

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"Expect miracles when you read Ann Patchett's fiction."—New York Times Book Review

Award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Ann Patchett returns with a provocative and assured novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the Amazon rainforest. Infusing the narrative with the same ingenuity and emotional urgency that pervaded her acclaimed previous novels Bel Canto, Taft, Run, The Magician's Assistant, and The Patron Saint of Liars, Patchett delivers an enthrallingly innovative tale of aspiration, exploration, and attachment in State of Wonder—a gripping adventure story and a profound look at the difficult choices we make in the name of discovery and love.

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From the Publisher

"Expect miracles when you read Ann Patchett's fiction."—New York Times Book ReviewAward-winning, New York Times bestselling author Ann Patchett returns with a provocative and assured novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the Amazon rainforest. Infusing the narrative with the same ingenuity and emotional urgency t...

From the Jacket

In a narrative replete with poison arrows, devouring snakes, scientific miracles, and spiritual transformations, State of Wonder presents a world of stunning surprise and danger, rich in emotional resonance and moral complexity. As Dr. Marina Singh embarks upon an uncertain odyssey into the insect-infested Amazon, she will be forced to...

Ann Patchett is the author of six novels and three books of nonfiction. She has won many prizes, including Britain's Orange Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Prize, and the Book Sense Book of the Year. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is the co-owner of Parnassus Books.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.86 inPublished:May 8, 2012Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:006204981X

ISBN - 13:9780062049810

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Customer Reviews of State of Wonder: A Novel

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Beautiful writing, but not my favourite Patchett's writing is gorgeous, but I didn't love the story as much as I had hoped. A shame, I had been expecting something so gripping I couldn't put it down. I would suggest Bel Canto instead.
Date published: 2016-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lovely! After having read a State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, here are a some thoughts on this emotional and powerful read. The story starts out with Dr. Marina Singh learning of the death of her colleague Dr. Anders Eckman. The scene where Marina breaks the news to Dr. Eckman’s wife is heart-wrenching. In this opening sequence, the reader becomes aware of Marina’s feeling of abandonment when Mr. Fox leaves the room and she’s forced to tell Karen the news on her own. Marina is also very conflicted because she’s aware of her employer’s role in the death of her colleague. Patchett’s writing immediately hooks you into wanting to know more about the story and its characters. It’s not a fast-paced book but her prose is enthralling. Ann Patchett transports her readers with her writing. In Bel Canto we are trapped with the hostages in the confines of a mansion in a poor South American country. But in State of Wonder, the setting is much grander in scope. I don’t know if her descriptions of Manaus and the Amazon are correct but they are evocative. I was able to picture the oppressive heat, the humidity-filled air, the torrential downpours, the muddy waters of the river, and the claustrophobia-inducing darkness of the Amazon jungle. Patchett illustrates the harshness of the conditions but through the story we are also made aware on the fragility and complexity of this ecosystem. Dr. Marina Singh, the protagonist, embodies a quiet strength that allows her to take in stride many of the setbacks she encounters in Manaus and the Amazon. Yet, it’s the character of Dr. Swenson that I found the most interesting. Dr. Swenson’s intense focus and belief in her convictions leads her to make decisions that many would find ruthless or unethical. Except for a few demonstrations of vulnerability, she seems to be in complete control. These are just a few themes that struck me as I was reading but there is much more to this story. State of Wonder is definitely one of the best books I’ve read in 2011 but don’t take my word for it. I encourage you to pick up a copy and see for yourself.
Date published: 2016-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from State of Wonderful Loved this book right from the start. Touching, remarkable story of an adventure into the unknown, decorated with lies and misunderstanding.
Date published: 2014-06-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful story! While Bel Canto us still my favourite Ann Patchett book, this one comes quite close as my second.
Date published: 2014-06-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from State of Wonder Very disappointing. NPR gave this book a rave review and even compared it to "Heart of Darkness". Drawn out, yet interesting until the truly foolish ending. Must have been on a deadline.
Date published: 2014-05-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from State of Wonder I was waiting for something big to happen near the end but it just didn't happen. It was a lot of buidup that went nowhere.
Date published: 2013-11-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from State of Wonder Thought there could've been more character development.
Date published: 2013-11-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from State of Wonder Enjoyed the book for the most part, found aspects of the story very interesting. However, I was slightly dissatisfied with the ending.
Date published: 2013-09-25

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

“Extraordinary. . . . Is there nothing the prodigiously talented Ann Patchett can’t do? . . . Patchett’s last knockout pages proceed full-speed ahead, with more twists and turns and trachery than the Amazon River. Nothing is as it seems, and the ending is as shocking as it’s satisfying.”