Ms. Patchett novel, “State of Wonder,” is the second straight book I have read by her that I wish the book never ended. The other book, “The Magician’s Assistant,” was the first. But, unlike “The Magician’s Assistant,” this book had in common the one fault that I found in her previous four books I have read by this truly gifted and wonderful writer, and that fault lies in the ending. Maybe, it’s just me? I don’t know, but it won’t stop me from reading more books by her.

This book, like all her books, is driven by characters that are so interesting that even while they are sleeping it is as though they are on steroids. She is the type of writer that if I was a teacher teaching a class on writing I would dedicate the entire semester to reading her novels.

“State of Wonder,” takes place for the most part in a section of the Amazon where a pharmaceutical company has invested a lot of money in a doctor who is working on a drug that will allow women to still get pregnant in their seventies or eighties…to stay fertile throughout their lives. When an assistant is reported dead, and the doctor in charge makes it very difficult to get in touch with her, the company sends down another assistant Marina, a doctor who works in lab, who at first might seem like the worse choice but, who later, matures into a heroic figure that helps deliver babies, fights off snakes, and who the natives fall in love with. What Marina discovers about herself is a great story in itself but what she discovers about the work, the magical mushrooms, and the dead assistant takes this story to new and higher level that can only be described as literary magic.

If not for the ending, three pages out of 360 pages, this book was perfect!!!!!!!!!!

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