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Melissa_W
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STATE OF WONDER: Chapters Four - Six

Please use this thread for discussion of Chapters Four - Six of State of Wonder.

Melissa W.
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optic_i
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Re: STATE OF WONDER: Chapters Four - Six

Chap 4-6 

 

Marina meets Milton at the airport and he is very helpful to her. 

 

Marina also meets the young couple living in Dr. Swenson apartment in Manaus. ( The Bovanders) Jackie & Barbera. They are not so helpful to her. They are the (Gate Keepers) as Milton tells Marina. 

 

Mr Fox sends Marina another phone and enough antibiotics and Malaria Meds. to last 6 mns. Marina only plans to stay 3 weeks. I wonder just how much longer she will have to stay till she can find Dr. Swenson ? 

 

   

  

 

Melissa_W
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Re: STATE OF WONDER: Chapters Four - Six

I liked Patchett's use of names in State of Wonder.

 

Mr. Fox - foxes are sly and clever; despite what is obviously care for Marina (I don't think he expected to love her to any degree beyond a brief affair that that has surprised him) he's still the CEO of a pharmaceutical company

 

Milton - Milton was blind in his later life; since Marina doesn't know where to find the good doctor in the Amazon it's like the blind leading the blind.

 

Bovanders - bovine = cow; cows are obstinate and dull (and not usually accorded much intelligence)


optic_i wrote:

Chap 4-6 

 

Marina meets Milton at the airport and he is very helpful to her. 

 

Marina also meets the young couple living in Dr. Swenson apartment in Manaus. ( The Bovanders) Jackie & Barbera. They are not so helpful to her. They are the (Gate Keepers) as Milton tells Marina. 

 

Mr Fox sends Marina another phone and enough antibiotics and Malaria Meds. to last 6 mns. Marina only plans to stay 3 weeks. I wonder just how much longer she will have to stay till she can find Dr. Swenson ? 

 

   

  

 


 

Melissa W.
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optic_i
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Re: STATE OF WONDER: Chapters Four - Six


Melissa_W wrote:

I liked Patchett's use of names in State of Wonder.

 

Mr. Fox - foxes are sly and clever; despite what is obviously care for Marina (I don't think he expected to love her to any degree beyond a brief affair that that has surprised him) he's still the CEO of a pharmaceutical company

 

Milton - Milton was blind in his later life; since Marina doesn't know where to find the good doctor in the Amazon it's like the blind leading the blind.

 

Bovanders - bovine = cow; cows are obstinate and dull (and not usually accorded much intelligence)


optic_i wrote:

Chap 4-6 

 

Marina meets Milton at the airport and he is very helpful to her. 

 

Marina also meets the young couple living in Dr. Swenson apartment in Manaus. ( The Bovanders) Jackie & Barbera. They are not so helpful to her. They are the (Gate Keepers) as Milton tells Marina. 

 

Mr Fox sends Marina another phone and enough antibiotics and Malaria Meds. to last 6 mns. Marina only plans to stay 3 weeks. I wonder just how much longer she will have to stay till she can find Dr. Swenson ? 

 

   

  

 


 


LOL , Thanks Melissa !  Yes their names match their personalities. I think Patchett had fun with this book too !  :smileyhappy: I am surprised that cows didn't come up on my spell check too ! 

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optic_i
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Re: STATE OF WONDER: Chapters Four - Six

A couple of things stood out for me. How each character see's one and other as a family. 

 

1) When in the car going to the beach together, Barbera says " I would have liked havening Dr. Swenson as a mother." Marina who knows Dr. Swensen as a resident at John Hopkins, thinks that she should call her own mother. 

 

2) While at the beach, Barbera & Jackie want Marina to watch them swim. Marina wants to stay under the umbrella in the shade with Milton. Milton says" We are the parents, they want us to watch". 

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Re: STATE OF WONDER: Chapters Four - Six

[ Edited ]

I am so glad that I didn't have to wait until the end of the book before Dr. Swenson's appearance.

 

 Well she made herself available but only on her terms. Marina and the Bovenders were surprised by hearing Dr. Swenson voice in back of them at the Opera. Dr. Swenson instructed them to be quiet so she can hear the signing better. When Marina turned around she felt embarrassed to be in front of Dr.Swenson wearing her hair up with Chinese fans and the silk dress she had borrowed from Barbera. Both Barbera & Jackie dutifully  turned around in their seats and stopped talking. Just like kids and the teacher saw them misbehaving.  

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Re: STATE OF WONDER: Chapters Four - Six


optic_i wrote:

I am so glad that I didn't have to wait until the end of the book before Dr. Swenson's appearance.

 

 


Me too!  We get to spend much more time with Dr. Swenson than I would have imagined.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: STATE OF WONDER: Chapters Four - Six

I’m glad we are able to meet Dr. Swenson relatively early in the book.  She is a pip!

 

This statement by Dr. Swenson to Marina about Marina on page 143 is very ironic:

“Well, I must not have done a convincing job if you went into pharmacology.  But then here I am developing a drug.  I suppose we both wound up in the same field after all.”

 

I like Milton very much. He does look out for Marina, especially on page 154 when he takes Easter with him to pick up Marina at her hotel before the boat departs for the jungle.  “If Milton hadn’t taken Easter there would have been no reason for [Dr. Swenson] to wait the minutes it took for him to drive to the hotel.”

 

I noticed that Dr. Swenson referred to the jungle as “home” on page 156.  Interesting.  I can’t imagine that living in such a foreign place and culture could ever feel like home.  Then again, she has been going there for 50 years!

 

Shocker --- Dr. Swenson liked Anders!  “Had the circumstances been different I could have imagined asking him to stay on,” she comments on page 158.

 

I can’t wait to see what happens when Dr. Swenson, Easter, and Marina arrive at their destination.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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optic_i
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Re: STATE OF WONDER: Chapters Four - Six

I agree Fozzie, this story just got a lot more interesting now that Dr.Swenson is in town. The Bovender's are boring. I like Milton too, he seems to be the man behind the scene, however he can anticipate Dr. Swensons habits. Marina asked Milton why didn't you tell me Dr.Swenson was going to be at the Opera tonight? Milton says he is can never be sure so he didn't want to tell her. 

 

How is it that Dr. Swenson can assess and leave people feeling diminished so easily ? I wondered if they let that happen themselves ? But no, I don't think they do. Now Marina is Dr.Singh, and Enders is Dr. Eckert. In the restaurant Dr. Swenson tells Marina on pg. 110 (Nook) about Dr.Eckert "God he wasn't going to take my word for fact that their was a drug in development." He felt the need to retrace the entire course of my work."  Then she said of him " He refused to let his misery inform his actions" Meaning the fact that he didn't go home when he got sick. Dr. Swenson also liked Dr. Eckert for his drive to learn all he could while he was in the Amazon. 

 

I really liked that Anders took Dr.Swenson to task and didn't back down even when he was sick.  

 

Marina also does this when Dr. Swenson tries to dismiss Anders as being out of his element in the Amazon and he shouldn't have come and he just died of a fever. Marina insists that Anders wife needs to know how he died.  So she also pressed Dr. Swenson on details.  

 

I really like how Dr. Swenson is written. She really is a Pip !   

 

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optic_i
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Re: STATE OF WONDER: Chapters Four - Six

On to the Amazon.  

 

On the Tambopata River in the Peruivan Amazon Rainforest, a group of kids play football on a tiny sand island in the middle of the river

 

Red-and-Green Macaws DO grow on trees in the Amazon

 

A typical house in the Amazon

 

Amazônia

 

Amazon Poison Dartfrog or Reticulated Poison Frog found at the inflows of the Amazon River in Peru live high up in the rainforest

 

Emerald boa Amazon Equador

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Fozzie
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Re: STATE OF WONDER: Chapters Four - Six


optic_i wrote:

I agree Fozzie, this story just got a lot more interesting now that Dr.Swenson is in town. The Bovender's are boring. I like Milton too, he seems to be the man behind the scene, however he can anticipate Dr. Swensons habits. Marina asked Milton why didn't you tell me Dr.Swenson was going to be at the Opera tonight? Milton says he is can never be sure so he didn't want to tell her. 

 

How is it that Dr. Swenson can assess and leave people feeling diminished so easily ? I wondered if they let that happen themselves ? But no, I don't think they do. Now Marina is Dr.Singh, and Enders is Dr. Eckert. In the restaurant Dr. Swenson tells Marina on pg. 110 (Nook) about Dr.Eckert "God he wasn't going to take my word for fact that their was a drug in development." He felt the need to retrace the entire course of my work."  Then she said of him " He refused to let his misery inform his actions" Meaning the fact that he didn't go home when he got sick. Dr. Swenson also liked Dr. Eckert for his drive to learn all he could while he was in the Amazon. 

 

I really liked that Anders took Dr.Swenson to task and didn't back down even when he was sick.  

 

Marina also does this when Dr. Swenson tries to dismiss Anders as being out of his element in the Amazon and he shouldn't have come and he just died of a fever. Marina insists that Anders wife needs to know how he died.  So she also pressed Dr. Swenson on details.  

 

I really like how Dr. Swenson is written. She really is a Pip !   

 


The Bovenders are boring!  I agree.  I don't care how easy of a job it is to "guard" Dr. Swenson's whereabouts, I would go nuts!

 

I finished the book last night, so I have some thoughts on how and why Dr. Sweanson acts like she does, but I'll save those until the final thread.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.