Welcome to A to Z! This year, I'm highlighting women's fiction books (and probably instilling a decent amount of cover love in the process).
S is for The State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.
Synopsis from Goodreads: As Dr. Marina Singh embarks upon an uncertain odyssey into the insect-infested Amazon, she will be forced to surrender herself to the lush but forbidding world that awaits within the jungle. Charged with finding her former mentor Dr. Annick Swenson, a researcher who has disappeared while working on a valuable new drug, she will have to confront her own memories of tragedy and sacrifice as she journeys into the unforgiving heart of darkness. Stirring and luminous, State of Wonder is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss beneath the rain forest's jeweled canopy.
This is a meaty read - don't plan on it being fast. That being said, it is gorgeous. It is the first Ann Patchett book I read and it completely blew me away. While the style of writing is more sophisticated, I never felt that she made the story inaccessible. I cared for the character more than I thought I would, and found myself longing to read through the whole time. I will seek out other books by Patchett (I've heard great things about Bel Canto).
Have you read a book that was a little harder than you expected to read that you still enjoyed? Do you have a certain time in your life when you look for a book that will challenge you?