Dr. Marina Singh is by her employer to travel to the Amazon when one of her fellow scientists turns up missing during a research trip. He's reported dead, but given that her coworker left behind a wife and small children, Marina agrees to find out what happened, although with great reservation.
What follows is a vivid journey of hot, humid travel and deep self-discovery. Dr. Swenson, a highly-devoted researcher who was the last to see her coworker alive, is her reluctant and abrasive guide in the jungle. It turns out, Dr. Swenson is also the doctor Marina trained under, and who Marina blames for the reason she left her medical practice and turned to research.
The characters are deeply flawed but each searching for their own truth. There's a mystery in the jungle, not only with her colleagues disappearance, but with the drug her company is researching, which is for a potential fertility drug that could change the industry. In the midst of unraveling these truths, Marina also works through her own past hurts. Patchett is a fantastic writer. This is a great book if you like accessible literary fiction with a flair for mystery and travel.