State of Wonder, Ann Patchett


State of Wonder, for me, is as complete as a novel might be. Its storyline and intricate plot take in the personal and the global with what seems like such ease, while Patchett pushes us on with a story that keeps on giving, and the dense, dark and lush world of the Amazon, where her characters are drawn in their quest for all sorts of things: Marina Singh only wants to find the truth about her friend, drug company Vogel wants the key to lifelong fertility, other doctors want to cure bigger ills like malaria.

This has been on my bookshelf for years and it’s thanks to the wondrous The Dutch House that I finally plucked it down. I remember interviewing Liz Gilbert years ago and she talked about books being ideas that were already out there, and it was up to writers to search them out and hang onto them. She became friends with Ann Patchett when she ‘lost’ an idea which Patchett then ‘found’, which became State of Wonder.

What I took from this book was to think big, or think bigger, with the work and the research I’m doing myself.