State of Wonder

Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder is a wonderful book, but I’d title it something else.  Both the Eden Prairie MN and the Amazon rain forest settings are too realistic for “wonder,” which seems a word more suitable for light fantasy. On second thought, maybe the “Rapps” mushrooms and “Martin” tree bark are light fantasy, but Patchett dwells on insect life and rain-forest-life grime that suggest “horror” a more fitting descriptor for the setting. All that aside, the medical information, science and scientists in the novel make for a good read and encourage some Googling: Lariam, Sirenomelia. The Indian-American-Minnesotan Dr. Singh is an engaging heroine and little Easter a tragic hero worthy of a sequel.