State of Wonder by Ann Patchett


Audiobook.  This is the tale of an appealing character, a doctor who works in the lab of a pharmaceutical company in Minnesota.  Marina Singh agrees to go deep into the Amazon jungle to find out how her colleague died and to complete his task.  He was sent to determine how the uncommunicative Dr. Swenson coming along with research on the fertility drug that would make the company fantastically successful.  For many years Vogel has funded Dr. Swenson's work with no questions asked. 

Marina's adventure is wild and crazy, involving a surfer from Australia, going to the opera in Manaus, a struggle with a python, cannibals, and performing a cesarian or two with none of the usual equipment.    And I'm not revealing the really improbable aspects of the tale.  Nevertheless, Marina is such an appealing character and the story told so well, it was quite fun.  The Dr. Swenson character, on the other hand, is so unpleasant and unappealing that you wonder why anyone would stick around for the abuse.  Just as I was getting quite tired of her character, the plot took such an unexpected twist that I was able to ignore her for the rest of the book.

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