Ann Patchett has dazzled readers with her award-winning books, including The Magician's Assistant and the New York Times bestselling Bel Canto. Now she raises the bar with State of Wonder, a provocative and ambitious novel set deep in the Amazon jungle.
Dr. Marina Singh, a research... read more
When her research partner dies in the Amazon, Dr. Marina Singh agrees to go find out what happened. She has two purposes for two people: she wants to find out for her boss/lover what progress her former teacher is making on the drug under development and she needs to find out what happened to... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
When her research partner dies in the Amazon, Dr. Marina Singh agrees to go find out what happened. She has two purposes for two people: she wants to find out for her boss/lover what progress her former teacher is making on the drug under development and she needs to find out what happened to Anders, so his wife can put to rest her feeling that he is still alive. Marina finds that she has more strength and ability, as a doctor, friend, and human being, than she knew as she navigates the hazardous waters of the Amazon and her own psyche. Dr. Annick Swenson, her former teacher and rogue researcher, is too harsh and demanding to be a mother-figure but Marina doesn't really need a mother anyway.
“"The next thing I knew I was sitting in a lecture hall and in walked the great Martin Rapp, his ankle sunk in a plaster boot, his crutches swinging forward. He came up to the lectern and he said, 'Gentlemen, close your books and listen. We have nothing less than the world to consider.' We were awestruck, every last one of us. We would have sat there for the full four years of college. I remember everything about that day, that room, the giant blackboards, the light coming in those leaded glass windows. What I saw in front of me was the character of a man. It was the most remarkable thing, and I've never had that experience before or since. It was some sort of aura he had. From ten rows away I knew exactly who he was and I knew I would follow him anywhere."”Alan Saturn
“"He used to say we all had a compass inside of us and what we needed to do was to find it and to follow it. But we were undergraduates and for the most part we couldn't find our asses with our hands and so we followed his compass instead. Until we knew how to be men by our own standards we tried to be men like Dr. Rapp. We never would be, of course, but it was still a noble goal."”Alan Saturn
“"Never be so focused on what you're looking for that you overlook the thing you actually find."”Dr. Swenson
“Hope is like walking around with a fishhook in your mouth and someone just keeps pulling it and pulling it.”Karen Eckman
“In this life we love who we love. There were some stories in which facts were very nearly irrelevant.”Marina Singh
“Research doesn't happen in a Petri dish, you know, and mice only go so far. It's the human trials that make the difference. Sometimes you have to be the one to roll up your sleeve.”Alan Saturn
“The words coming out of her mouth felt hot.”Marina Singh
“I know they need to have one answer, even if it's the worst answer you could think of. Hope is a horrible thing, you know. I don't know who decided to package hope as a virtue because it's not. It's a plague. Hope is like walking around with a fishhook in your mouth and somebody just keeps pulling it and pulling it.”Karen Eckman
“Naivete may be the bedrock of reproduction, the lynch pin for the survival of the species.”
“Your story tells as much by what you leave out as what you put in.”Nancy Saturn
“That was Dr. Rapps's great lesson in the Amazon, in science: Never be so focused on what you're looking for that you overlook that thing you actually find.”
“He's a deaf child. He does everything to make you forget that, so it is our responsibility as the adult to remember.”Dr. Swenson
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