Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Book Club: State of Wonder

Well, it's been longer between posts than I wanted. I'm still shooting for my goal of 3 times a week, but sometimes that just doesn't happen. I'll keep trying!

Last Tuesday, we met at E's place for book club to discuss Gone Girl. Gathered around the kitchen table and a feast of salad, homemade lasagna, and cupcakes (cookies 'n' cream with a cream filling!), we caught up and then chatted about the book.

Whoa, what a story! I don't want to give anything away, but we were all wrapped up in the psychology and suspense of it all. I am amazed that the author could come up with such a complex narrative, one that explores the main characters' psychology with such intricacy and contains so many twists.

Overall, we had mixed emotions about the ending, but I posed the question of "What would make a 'good' ending?" for this book. As readers, we want something that gives us closure but in a slightly unexpected way. A story that ends exactly how we predictor how we want it to endis boring. So for fun, we explored some possible options for an alternate ending.

Next month, we will be reading State of Wonder: A Novel by Ann Patchett. A friend of mine gave me this book for grad school graduation last summer, and believe it or not, I just started reading it. But it comes highly recommended from multiple friends, so I'm looking forward to this one!

And thank you for all your great recommendations! We chose a couple of those books for upcoming months... stay tuned.


Amazon.com Review:
Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2011: In State of Wonder, pharmaceutical researcher Dr. Marina Singh sets off into the Amazon jungle to find the remains and effects of a colleague who recently died under somewhat mysterious circumstances. But first she must locate Dr. Anneck Swenson, a renowned gynecologist who has spent years looking at the reproductive habits of a local tribe where women can conceive well into their middle ages and beyond. Eccentric and notoriously tough, Swenson is paid to find the key to this longstanding childbearing ability by the same company for which Dr. Singh works. Yet that isn’t their only connection: both have an overlapping professional past that Dr. Singh has long tried to forget. In finding her former mentor, Dr. Singh must face her own disappointments and regrets, along with the jungle’s unforgiving humidity and insects, making State of Wonder a multi-layered atmospheric novel that is hard to put down. Indeed, Patchett solidifies her well-deserved place as one of today’s master storytellers. Emotional, vivid, and a work of literature that will surely resonate with readers in the weeks and months to come, State of Wonder truly is a thing of beauty and mystery, much like the Amazon jungle itself.


  1. Gone girl. Did they make that into a movie with Casey Affleck? That WAS a frustrating ending. Geez.

    1. I think they are currently making the movie, so I'm not sure about the Casey Affleck one. I'm interested to see how they adapt it for film.


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