I am a huge Ann Patchett fan and if you haven't read her books, you really should start.
State of Wonder is our book club's next pick and I just loved it. And the preliminary reports from the other girls in the club is that no once could put it down.
If you haven't heard about it, here's a little blurb from Time Magazine:
Mild-mannered Marina Singh is sent by a drug company to Brazil to find her onetime mentor, the imperious Dr. Annick Swenson, who hasn't been heard from in two years. Swenson is deep in the Amazon, studying women of an obscure tribe who can bear children into their 60s and 70s. But Swenson has gone off the rails, and Singh has to play Marlow to her Kurtz in a Heart of Darkness for the pharmaceutical era.This is a bit of a simplification - but I'm afraid to say more for fear of spoiling it. There are definitely Heart of Darkness overtones but Patchett has a way of drawing you in and at one point, reading the first chapter while getting a pedicure I found myself choking back tears in the nail salon.
That isn't a usual problem while reading in public.
This book is about an expedition into the Amazonian jungle but in my experience, Patchett's books are never about what they're about.... if you get my meaning.
Maybe you don't -
But in any event, grab this book. You will not be sorry.