Title: State of Wonder
Author: Ann Patchett
Review: I’m not quite sure how I feel about this book. It was ok. I didn’t really get into it until I only had a quarter of it left to read. However, by that time I was really excited to see what was going to happen. I’m a stay at home mom, and so I can only pick up a book for a few minutes here and there all throughout the day. I struggled at the beginning because of all the annoying flashbacks. Which after reading the entire book, I still don’t see the point in having them at all. I had to backtrack a lot to see where in time we were. It was confusing to me, but that could just be because I couldn’t sit with the book for long periods of time.
Ann Patchett is a good writer. I love the way she sets up the scenes. I have not previously read any of her other books, though I have heard good things. I feel as though she set up the story for entirely too long there was no plot for about half of the book. I got bored with waiting for something to actually happen. When the story finally got going, it ended. The ending felt so rushed to me. It not only ended, but it left a lot of unanswered questions. I don’t want to spoil the story, so let’s just say I would love some closure. I don’t’ need it all tied up in a nice pretty bow, just not so many loose ends.
I wonder if I should round this up to three stars because the book had a lot of great characters, a lot of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming and I honestly had no idea where the book would go. I loved the Bovenders, I loved that Dr. Swenson and her abrasive, ever businesslike attitude and demeanor. It was perfect. I didn’t ever truly fall in love with Marina, the protagonist, but I liked her well enough for the story. I adore how she set up scenes that keep you glued to the book. She grips you whether it is the anaconda, the surgeries, or just a simple conversation or native encounter. I particularly liked when she wrote, “There was no one clear point of loss. It happened over and over again in a thousand small ways and the only truth there was to learn was that there was no getting used to it.”
Like I said, she does some great writing.
All in all, for me, the cons of this book outweigh the pros. Too slow, finally gets good then abruptly ends.
Thanks go to Heather for this review.
Publisher: Published June 7th 2011 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2011)
Quick Review: 2 out of 5 stars
Why I Read It: Sent me by the publisher for review
Where I Obtained the Book: TLC book tour
Synopsis: Award-winning "New York Times"-bestselling author Ann Patchett (Bel Canto, The Magician's Assistant) returns with a provocative novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the Amazon rainforest--a gripping adventure story and a profound look at the difficult choices we make in the name of discovery and love.
Author Biography: Ann Patchett is an American author. She received the Orange Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award in 2002 for her novel Bel Canto. Patchett's other novels include The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, and The Magician's Assistant, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and received the Nashville Banner Tennessee Writer of the Year Award in 1994.