Looking Forward to September!




Saturday, July 9, 2011

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Today has been one of the nicest summer days I can ever remember. Temps in the low 70s; a very cool, brisk north wind; full sunshine that warms but doesn't overheat; all flies and bugs to a minimum. Summer would be my favorite season if everyday were like today. I explored, I wandered, I hiked up and down in my woods and neighboring hills and fields, and every new sight was a wonder.


I could have finished State of Wonder by Ann Patchett today, but stopped myself short of 60 pages. (Follow the previous link to an excellent review, a book excerpt, and an interview with Patchett.) I don't want it to end! Tomorrow, maybe tomorrow, my psyche can deal with the book's ending, but not today. I'm not ready to let go. It's been a stellar read. Patchett is a magician--her plot and sub-plots, settings, and characters are so deep, so pleasurable, so exciting. This is a top-ten book of the year, for certain. To all the foremost American book critics, I want to say, "I dare you to find fault with this book. I dare you! And if you do, you will be getting disagreeable mail from me.

But you're right: I absolutely do not gravitate toward books set in the Amazon. Equatorial rainforest locales do not turn me on. I avoid them. But like the exquisitely rendered The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, even a novel set in the depths of the Congo can be transcendent. And so it is with State of Wonder.

I cannot give this book a higher rating. Top-billing!

4 comments:

  1. I'm glad you loved it to the nearly end. By the way, last January, I read another book on the Amazon region. It is non-fiction, but it's also about going to figure out what happened to a guy who disappeared there. It reads like a mystery, a great page turner. It's called the Lost City of Z. I wanted to mention it in my review of State of Wonder, but I forgot, I'll edit that. My review is here if you want to have a look: http://wordsandpeace.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/the-lost-city-of-z/

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  2. What a review! Makes me want to pick it up immediately. She is a writer I have been meaning to read for such a long time. It has been a while since I stopped before finishing a book because I liked it so much. It is a wonderful experience when it happens.

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  3. Words and Peace and Caroline,
    The ending of State of Wonder did not disappoint, not in the slightest. I'll be recommending this book to everyone I know.

    I bought the Lost City of Z for a cousin at Christmas a couple of years ago, and I'll put it on my list, thank you!

    Judith

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  4. I really enjoyed the novel, but I had a big problem with Marina's character. She was kind of a blank slate at best.

    My thoughts are here: http://theoncominghope.blogspot.com/2011/07/state-of-wonder.html

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