Lavinia's Reviews > State of Wonder

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Feb 12, 12

bookshelves: kindle, 2012, dec-111111-121212, src-2012-1, atw80
Read from February 07 to 11, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 1

What a magnificent story. I loved what another reviewer referred to as the "meaty pile of ethical questions", the richly-painted setting, the transformation that Marina goes through during the book, and the ending - which made me both happy and miserable and yet had what felt to be the requisite balance. I wondered early in the book if I would ever entirely warm up to Marina, and I was glad to find that I did; on the one hand, I wish it had been earlier, but I'm not sure the overall story would have worked for me any other way. I found Dr. Swenson loathsome until well into the book, but she redeemed herself eventually. Patchett does a fantastic job describing the Amazon forest - I felt I was there the whole time. Really a great read.
4 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read State of Wonder.
sign in »

Reading Progress

34.0% "I'm rather startled by the depth of my dislike for Dr. Swenson, whom we haven't even met yet in person, and for the Bovenders; I'm also furious at Marina for staying in Brazil under the circumstances, although I can't imagine what else she'd do."
show 3 hidden updates…

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

Heiki-lara Nyce I so badly wanted to talk to someone after I read this book. It was so intense, like all her books are. Email me when you are done with your thoughts. I don't want to say more than that or I might give away the ending, which totally surprised me.

Lavinia Oooh - good to know, and I will!

Heiki-lara Nyce What do you think happens to Easter? Do you think he makes it out of there? I just sobbed when he was taken; I didn't expect that at all. I forget; is Marina pregnant in the end? What happens to her relationship with her collegue? I forget his name- the one she found. I agree with your review.

Lavinia Hi! Sorry I hadn't emailed you yet... and yes, I had the same reaction to Easter. I was appalled, but that's what I meant by the "requisite balance" - I don't know how Patchett could have had Marina get Anders back without giving up Easter. I think we were meant to have some hope when it was theorized that Easter would "escape" his people and make it back. At least, that's what I'd like to think.

And interesting question about Marina being pregnant... there's no mention of it, but the thought definitely crossed my mind as soon as she and Anders slept together (given that she'd been chewing the bark). I suspect Patchett intentionally didn't mention it, since it left open possibilities of all sorts. Marina "escorts" Anders back to his family and, I thought, did so enthusiastically. Patchett talks a little about why they slept together - I had the sense it was much more about relief (over his being alive) and grief (over Easter) and that they were sort of in this place out of time down in Brazil and that it had nothing to do with them being a couple. While part of me would have loved to know what happened once they started working together again, I thought it was best that Patchett kept it so open-ended. And also, I think it's quite possible that Marina will return to Brazil to keep working with Dr. Swenson. I wonder if she'll write a sequel... there's certainly material for one!

Heiki-lara Nyce Exactly; I think she will write a sequel, or is keeping that possibility in her back pocket. Though I am not usually a fan of sequels (excluding series like "the Hunger Games", Harry Potter, etc) it could be a good one.
I agree; I think we were meant to have hope that Easter returns somehow. That kidnapping just undid me. This book took me days to get over; I just kept thinking about it.

back to top