Wish You Were Here is Jo's third book and - as an observer from afar - I can see the growth in her writing and character development with each new release. The thing that draws me to her blog (and her I guess) is a sense of familiarity in her writing: an informality that engages me and draws me in. And her books offer that same level of intimacy.
Jo's books are loosely linked - through minor characters becoming the focus in each new outing. I love the continuity it offers and forethought it shows; giving readers the opportunity to piece together the timeframes and relationships.
Jo's characters are always her strong point and this was no different. Maxine (Max / Maxi) was a delight and readers are there for her 'awakening' if you like. I loved that Jo puts us firmly in Max's head as she ponders her relationships with James and best male friend, Richie. She's prone to a bit of over-analysis... so I could very much relate.
I found James to be a bit of a cliché - something I recall about an ex-boyfriend from one of Jo's previous novels. I'm not sure if it's a romance / chick lit novel thing - the stereotypical / extreme characters (like Daniel Cleaver in Bridget Jones' Diary). You can kinda see what's coming and it's obvious they're a bit of a prick and things aren't gonna end well...
Again Jo's surrounded her leads with a great cast of characters and these were probably the strongest yet - perhaps because we're offered such an array via Max and Richie's families and friends.
Surprisingly one of my favourite elements of this novel was the inclusion of Max's blog posts on a 'foodie' blog. Max's (and Jo's) voice came through with strong familiarity and her / their passion for cooking and fresh produce were evident through the use of the first person posts.
Again I cried. It wasn't until it happened I was reminded that I had done so in both of Jo's other books and she's great at building that emotion to that point of 'conflict' and exploring that vulnerability we so often avoid.
And finally, Jo again shares her love of travel throughout this book. On her blog she'd talked about the fact she was using a UK holiday last year to inspire this novel as well as her love for New Zealand.
Despite my usual antipathy towards romance and chick lit, I very much enjoyed this book. I initially thought t it was going to be a tad predictable as we can guess where it's heading, but that's when the real-life stuff kicks in and things get complicated.
Read the full review on my site: [...]
Wish You Were Here Kindle Edition
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About the Author
Joanne Tracey would like to say that she's a thirty-something, perky- pony-tailed marathon runner. Sadly, it wouldn't be true. What is true is that she's sometimes a corporate warrior, sometimes a domestic diva, sometimes a star-gazer, and absolutely always a believer in happy endings. Oh, and she says you can call her Jo. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- File Size : 654 KB
- Print Length : 305 pages
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B01MG5IC14
- Best Sellers Rank: 487,100 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
3.7 out of 5
4 global ratings
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Top reviews from Australia
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Reviewed in Australia on 2 November 2016
Reviewed in Australia on 6 November 2016
Was recommended this as a great read from a family member of the author. Expected a good read but received a GREAT read! Loved the story of Max, she made me laugh and cry and feel a bit lovely!
Thank you Jo!
(And thank you Pieta!!)
Thank you Jo!
(And thank you Pieta!!)
Top reviews from other countries
great read, look forward to reading more of this authors workReviewed in the United States on 3 December 2016
I really enjoyed this book, so much so I wrote to the author to pass on my thanks for such a great read. Sorry resending this review as only one star showed up when I first sent it and wanted to give it FIVE STARS. Thanks Jacquie
Shirley Gay Norris
Great read!Reviewed in the United States on 28 April 2019
This book was never boring. And the recipes made me hungry! What an unusual story that nearly spanned the globe.