Well, I can certainly say I did not see this book ending the way it did. I didn't even think anything of how it was going to end or suspect even when I soo close to finishing. Of course, I have to nitpick, the how does the Amazon trial end?? The second whole purpose of the book (the first being to find Anders) was to finish that damn trial and then there was no closure. No, just no. I did not read that lovely written book to not have closure. Though, it did sum up my initial thought that Dr. Swenson was an ass. And poor poor Easter. Oh my heart. And I want more details from Anders please and thank you.
"She was unnerved by Dr. Swenson's repeated references to "our delivery" date and the letters from her dead friend that she found waiting in her bed at night." pg. 293
1. What do you think of the ethics of infecting the men of the tribe with malaria for a coke?
I personally disagree with the practice. If the Lakashi could communicate with the doctors and if they understood malaria and what could happen, then by all means if they volunteer, sure, but in the situation where they cannot effectively communicate all of this then I do not support it.
2. Speaking of ethics, what do you think of how Dr. Swenson ran things in the Amazon? Was it like the Wild West every man/woman for themselves or was she really reckless?
I think she was very reckless and that someone needed to pull in her reins. I understand her viewpoint that nothing would get done and people would get in her way, but she was very unconventional and I think she needed someone to tell her no.
3. Barbara Bovender, one of Annik’s caretakers/gatekeepers tells Marina, “She’s such a force of nature. . . . a woman completely fearless, someone who sees the world without limitations.” Is this a fair assessment of Annik? How would you describe her? How has the elderly doctor’s past shaped the person she is and the choices she has made?
I think she was stubborn, smart, full of herself and very narrow minded on her project.
4. Should women of any age be able to have children? What are the benefits and the downsides? Why does this ability seem to work in the Lakashi culture? What impact does this research ultimately have on Marina? Whether you are a man or woman, would you want to have a child in your fifties or sixties? How far should modern science go to “improve” on nature?
I do NOT think a woman of any age should have a child. It is not fair to the child when their 80 year old parent dies when they are 2. In the Lakashi culture it worked because everyone took care of everyone and they were in the middle of the Amazon with NOTHING else to do. I would not want a small child in my 50s or 60s. I do not want one in my 40s. They are a lot of work and tiring. It wouldn't be fair to the child.
5. Would you travel into the unknown of the Amazon?
That is one place I have no desire to visit.
6. What is your opinion of the choices Marina made regarding Easter? What role did the boy play in the story? Do you think Marina will ever have the child—one like Easter—that she wants?
I think she was very limited in her situation seeing as how she had no way to communicate but I really don't see how she was going to get out of that situation any other way. I feel bad for Easter. Everyone he cared about him, abandoned him. I thought it was hysterical she was trying to remember what he was wearing for a 'wanted poster.' Delusional.
7. How do you think the story ends for the main players? Marina? Dr. Swenson? Anders? Mr. Fox? Easter? The Lakashi?
I would like to think that Easter made his way back to Dr. Swenson and somehow made it to Minnesota to be with Dr. Eckman. Marina, I picture her quitting Vogel and Mr. Fox and moving to a small town alone and taking up surgery/ob again. Dr. Swenson, living until she was 90 and being a beeeyotch the whole time and getting the malaria vaccine marketed. Anders adopting children from impoverish nations trying to make up for losing Easter. Mr. Fox being old and stupid. The Lakashi, I see them not even batting an eye when Dr. Swenson and her team leave and continuing to eat their tree bark.
8. What did you think of the night Marina and Anders spent together?
I think in those situations you need someone to be close and comforted with and you aren't even thinking about who it is with.
What did you think? I was pleasantly surprised!