State of Wonder by Ann Patchett was a very, very slow moving book. It wasn’t until the last 50 pages or so of the 353 pages that I was really drawn into the story. It is probably twice as long as it really needs to be.
The story revolves around research being done in the Amazon backed by a pharmaceutical company. While I am not a huge fan of medical thrillers, nor of tales of those who trek beyond civilization, (My idea of roughing it is staying someplace without room service.) the concepts of a potential fertility drug that would allow post-menopausal women to become pregnant as well as an inoculation against malaria are interesting. It is ultimately the characters and their various deceptions that are the backbone of the story.
The part I liked best was the way the end of the story curved around to end where it began. A child taken for dead is returned to its parents, a parent taken for dead is returned to his children. That was well done. The tale feels finished despite leaving lots of loose ends.
I’d only rate this one a 6. While I agree it is a pretty good book – it made the bestseller list, for heaven’s sake – the topic and setting were not to my taste and the pace was too slow keep my interest up.