“Never be so focused on what you’re looking for that you overlook the thing you actually find.”
Dr. Marina Singh is enlisted to find out what happened to her friend and colleague, Anders, when he is reported dead by Dr. Annick Swenson, the head of a drug discovery team deep in the Amazon. Dr. Annick Swenson is unreachable and invisible in the wilderness, communicating sporadically by letter. Dr. Singh was taught by Swenson in medical school and the experience of encountering her again brings up old painful memories that Singh would rather forget. The journey into the Amazon unravels a lot of mysteries about Dr. Singh, Anders, Dr. Swenson and the new drug that is being developed which Dr. Singh soon finds out, could change the world.
Though this book was not as entrancing as I expected, it was very enjoyable and I finished quite satisfied with the story and the ending. Dr. Singh is a great character, she is flawed but confident, scared but brave. Dr. Swenson is frustrating and single-minded, very much the researcher in every respect. Anders is loving, generous and never belonged in the Amazon in the first place. There are a few encounters with bugs, heat, fevers, snakes and the wildlife.. but I still wanted more. I wished for more descriptions and more of the jungle life. I really wanted the author to paint a picture of the pure wildness that they were living within. But this book is about the people, who just happen to be in the Amazon, and so it focuses on their thoughts, wishes, emotions and doubts more than anything.
This story revolves on the ideas of love, relationships, sacrifice and morality. How much should we give up for something that could benefit the entire planet? Does the distinction between right and wrong change when the environment changes? What would you risk for someone you loved? State of Wonder explores all these questions and more, wrapped in the heart of the amazon among the tribes and trees.