Monday Night Book Club at Canton Public Library will discuss State of Wonder by the award-winning Ann Patchett as its June selection. The discussion begins at 7:00 PM on Monday, June 11.
In Patchett’s newest novel, pharmaceutical researcher Dr. Marina Singh is sent to the Amazon jungle to retrieve the “remains and effects” of her colleague Anders Eckman, whose mysterious death was reported. Once in the jungle, Singh must confront her past in the person of Dr. Anneck Swenson, also employed by the same pharmaceutical company. Swenson was the former mentor of Singh when the latter was in medical school, where a botched emergency delivery led to Singh giving up her medical career and becoming a researcher instead.
At her camp in the Amazon jungle, Swenson is engaged in research that the company hopes will lead to a blockbuster fertility drug. Swenson has found that women in the local Lakashi tribe bear children in their middle years and later. While Singh confronts the past and her relationship with the fearsome Dr. Swenson, Singh also struggles with several other relationships—with her boss, Mr. Fox; with her colleague Anders; and with a new and tender relationship with a young boy of the Lakashi tribe.
Coupled with an absorbing adventure story are some ethical issues which force Singh to make some uncomfortable choices. All this in the Amazon jungle, where heat and humidity, insects, mud, and devastating storms make conditions less than ideal. State of Wonder is a satisfying novel from a master storyteller.
Book club members are reminded that the club does not meet in July and August. For those wanting to get a jump on the fall, September’s selection is Bad Girl by Mario Vargus Lliosa.
Copies of State of Wonder are available at the library. New members are always welcome. Canton Public Library is at 40 Dyer Avenue, Canton. For information: (860) 693-5800 or www.cantonpubliclibrary.org