Book Review

State of Wonder


I had never read Ann Patchett before. Though many members of my book group had repeatedly recommended Bel Canto, I never got to it. But when I needed something to listen to in the car last summer driving back and forth to the lake, and my local bookseller recommended State of Wonder, I bought it. I’m so glad I did. I loved this book. Right from the start, the reader captured many different voices well enough for me to follow perfectly as I got into the plot.

And that plot was awesome. There was enough doubt planted in the opening events to make me suspicious of where we were headed, and were enough subsequent twists to keep me wondering. I did anticipate some of what happened, but the telling of it was so riveting that I was glued to each word. Each time I turned on my car, I was immersed in the Amazonian jungle, the imagery was that vivid. I could feel it, smell it, see it. The author’s detail was incredible. During one scene telling of an encounter with an anaconda, I must have had such a look of horror on my face that drivers around me would have worried, had they bothered to look.

Despite some plot twists at the very end of the book that didn’t sit as well as the rest, I am still missing the voice, the setting, and the characters from State of Wonder. Guessing that this story is extraordinary in book form as well, I highly recommend it.

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