How good it was to be absorbed into another of Ann Patchett’s stories, alongside some strong characters, at a cracking pace and a confidence that the pages would give good reading value from start to finish. There is a great deal of simplicity in this book –a death, a search, people who act as you would expect them to - but that goes hand in hand with a narrative that invites the reader to fill in obvious gaps and had me wanting to get back to the story each time I had to leave it for a while.
The geography feels authentic, the heat as oppressive as I remember it on my visit to the Amazon and illness is described competently, always from the sick person’s perspective. I was surprised by the quantity of insect life Marina encountered but that was probably because these were remarkable by their absence during my boat trip on the Rio Negra.
The ending disappointed just a little by solving the obvious in a way that was just little hard to believe. After all dying of a fever in Amazonia is not unusual but much was left unsaid in the last pages about relationships between the key characters. I see another book there.