Dr. Marina Singh, a research scientist with a Minnesota pharmaceutical company, is sent to the Amazon to find her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have disappeared while working on a new drug. No one knows where Dr. Swenson is, and the last person sent to find her died before completing his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey in hopes of finding answers.
Now in her seventies, the uncompromising Dr. Swenson dominates her research team and the natives with the force of an imperial ruler. But while she is as threatening as anything the jungle has to offer, the greatest sacrifices are those Dr. Swenson asks of herself, and will ultimately ask of Marina, who finds she is still unable to live up to her teacher’s expectations.
Replete with poison arrows, devouring snakes, and cannibals, State of Wonder is a tale that leads you into the very heart of darkness, and then shows what lies on the other side.
Those who know more than I about literature, such as reviewers at the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Washington Post, etc., described this book as dazzling, gripping, thoughtful, profound, exciting, engaging, and a page-turner. but I was left in my own State of Wonder-ing why? I may be banned from reading future "literary fiction", but I'm going to open up and admit that I gave up on this about half-way through. While the premise of the story was interesting, I found that it moved so slow that, by the time I stopped reading (at the point where Marina had arrived in the jungle village), I couldn't say I really cared what happened.
So, fellow readers. Did I bail too soon? Is the second half of the book worth retrieving the book from the library? Someone please tell me what I'm missing.