Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros to share the first paragraph sometimes two, of a book that she’s reading or planning to read soon.
This week I’m looking at State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, one of my TBR books on my Kindle and thinking of reading it next.
The news of Anders Eckman’s death came by way of Aerogram, a piece of bright blue airmail paper that served both as the stationery and, when folded over and sealed along the edges, the envelope. Who even knew they still made such things? The single sheet had traveled from Brazil to Minnesota to mark the passing of a man, a breath of tissue so insubstantial that only the stamp seemed to anchor it to this world. Mr Fox had the letter in his hand when he came to the lab to tell Marina the news. When she saw him there at the door she smiled at him and in the light of that smile he faltered.
“What?” she said finally.
He opened his mouth and then closed it. When he tried again all he could say was, “It’s snowing.”
Among the tangled waterways and giant anacondas of the Brazilian Rio Negro, an enigmatic scientist is developing a drug that could alter the lives of women for ever. Dr Annick Swenson’s work is shrouded in mystery; she refuses to report on her progress, especially to her investors, whose patience is fast running out. Anders Eckman, a mild-mannered lab researcher, is sent to investigate.
A curt letter reporting his untimely death is all that returns.
Now Marina Singh, Anders’ colleague and once a student of the mighty Dr Swenson, is their last hope. Compelled by the pleas of Anders’s wife, who refuses to accept that her husband is not coming home, Marina leaves the snowy plains of Minnesota and retraces her friend’s steps into the heart of the South American darkness, determined to track down Dr. Swenson and uncover the secrets being jealously guarded among the remotest tribes of the rainforest.
What Marina does not yet know is that, in this ancient corner of the jungle, where the muddy waters and susurrating grasses hide countless unknown perils and temptations, she will face challenges beyond her wildest imagination.
Marina is no longer the student, but only time will tell if she has learnt enough.
I can see why I bought this book – but why haven’t I read it yet? It looks so good. What do you think – would you keep reading?
6 thoughts on “First Chapter, First Paragraph: State of Wonder”
It certainly does look intriguing, Margaret. And that setting! I’ll be really interested in what you think of it.
I haven’t read this one yet, but I have heard such good things about this book and I’ve read other Patchett books, so I’d keep going.
I love this author, and I’ve been wanting to read this one. Thanks for sharing…and here’s mine: ‘BRIDGES: A DAPHNE WHITE NOVEL’
I’ve read a couple of Ann Patchett’s books and have really enjoyed them. But, I haven’t read this one. It sounds like I need to add it to my list.
Oh yes, I’ve read this Patchett novel and it is quite good! Thought provoking and a bit mysterious. When you finish it : compare your thoughts with my review of it at http://www.thecuecard.com/?s=state+of+wonder
Such a great book–I think the opening is perfect for this story and the way that Patchett tells it. So many intriguing possibilities for the characters from the outset, and the tone is right on the money.
Hope you enjoy it.
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