Published: 25 November 2021
Author: Jodi Picoult
Published by: Hodder & Stoughton
Length: 352 pages
Reading dates: 27-30 November 2021
Diana O’Toole’s life is going perfectly to plan. At twenty-nine, she’s up for promotion to her dream job as an art specialist at Sotheby’s and she’s about to fly to the Galápagos where she’s convinced her surgeon boyfriend, Finn, is going to propose.
But then the virus hits New York City and Finn breaks the news: the hospital needs him, he has to stay. But you should still go, he insists. And reluctantly, she agrees. Once she’s in the Galápagos, the world shuts down around her, leaving Diana stranded – albeit in paradise. Completely isolated, with only intermittent news from the outside world, Diana finds herself examining everything that has brought her to this point and wondering if there’s a better way to live.
But not everything is as it seems . . .
I’m a huge Jodi Picoult fan and have read a fair few of her books so when an unexpected proof copy of Wish You Were Here arrived in the post I was thrilled!
In March 2020 just as the world was starting to recognise that Covid might be a big problem, Diana and her partner Finn are about to take a holiday to the Galápagos where Diana is fully expecting a marriage proposal. But Finn who is a surgeon has his leave is cancelled, as all hands are needed in the hospital. He urges Diana to still take the trip, encouraging her to get away from New York City.
Reluctantly she takes the trip alone and arrives at the Galápagos to be told the island is closing for two weeks because of the virus. Diana decides she may as well continue with her holiday but soon discovers the island really is shut down – all the shops are shut and her hotel is closed but luckily the islanders help her out. Without patchy Wi-Fi she isn’t able to contact Finn so she is truly isolated but soon befriends a teenage girl and her father. It soon becomes apparent that she may be stranded longer than she first thought on paradise while the world around her goes to hell.
This is the first book I have read set during Covid and what amazed me was how much I had forgotten about those early days – how we used to quarantine post as it came in the house, how I used to madly disinfect everything after a shopping delivery, how we were stuck to our short exercise everyday and how we weren’t allowed to see our loved ones. Finn writes long emails to Diana telling her what is happening in the hospital and it almost feels dystopian until you remember it actually happened.
I loved the setting of the Galápagos Islands – it sounded idyllic with the scenery and wildlife. I was surprised in the direction the plot took but I really liked it. Picoult weaves an entertaining and clever story and I found it interesting, hearing the stories of how many died, what life is like in the ICU and how long and painful the recovery was for some patients. The research Picoult must of put into this novel really shows and I really enjoyed Wish You Were Here,
Thank you to Hodder Books for my proof copy.
About the author
Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-seven novels, including The Book of Two Ways, A Spark of Light, Small Great Things, Leaving Time, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, and My Sister’s Keeper, and, with daughter Samantha van Leer, two young adult novels, Between the Lines and Off the Page.
Picoult’s books have been translated into thirty-four languages in thirty-five countries. Four novels – The Pact, Plain Truth, The Tenth Circle, and Salem Falls – have been made into television movies. My Sister’s Keeper was a film released from New Line Cinema, with Nick Cassavetes directing and Cameron Diaz starring. SMALL GREAT THINGS has been optioned for motion picture adaptation by Amblin Entertainment and is set to star Viola Davis and Julia Roberts. Picoult’s two Young Adult novels, Between The Lines and Off The Page, co-written with her daughter Samantha Van Leer, have been adapted and developed by the authors into a musical entitled Between The Lines which had its world premiere in September 2017 at the Kansas City Repertory Theater and is expected to premiere Off-Broadway in Summer 2019.