But I come away from it with mixed feelings.
Yes, it was entertaining. Yes, there were parts that were laugh out loud funny and the author can see the humour and irony around her. And yes, it kept me reading to the end, quite quickly (a plane ride on Friday made for good uninterrupted reading time). But in the end, there was too much suspension of disbelief required to make me fully enjoy it.
The premise? A drug company in Minnesota is sponsoring a researcher in the Amazon jungle who is developing a drug that will extend fertility for as long as a woman is alive. The drug company sends another scientist down to get an update on her work. He is reported dead. They send another scientist (Marina, the main character of the book) down, to both find out what happened and finish the work that he set out to do. She ends up, by the end of the first chapter, deep in the Brazilian rain forest and clueless about how to survive.
The characters were really unique and memorable, but at times Marina (who is supposed to be intelligent) is just so stupid. I wanted to smack her and ask what she was thinking at times. And none of the characters were infallible - they all had their quirks and faults which made them much more believable.
It was when Marina reached the tribe where the women bear children well into their 70s that the plot became ridiculous. I managed to suspend disbelief long enough to enjoy it for a while, but then reality came back to me and I could only sit back and shake my head. I also found the tribe to be a caricature of themselves - almost what a European in the 1700's might imagine a "savage tribe" to be...
So a mixed review overall. Like I said, interesting enough to be good airplane reading; but not good enough for me to ever want to re-read it. I've already given my copy to the friend that I'm visiting. Has anyone else read this book? What did you think?