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Wish You Were Here Kindle Edition
But now she is stranded, alone on what was planned to be a romantic idyll with Finn. Unfortunately, Finn is trapped thousands of miles away, and Diana is on one of the world's most beautiful islands with no food, no luggage, and no place to stay, forced to test her personal limits to survive.
Struggling to find her feet, Diana gradually connects with a local family when a teenager with a secret opens up to her. As Diana helps her fight her demons she learns more about herself, and about the islands of Galapagos, where Darwin developed his theory of evolution. The dramatic and sometimes dangerous terrain reflects Diana's own experiences, her new relationships and growing awareness that she too is evolving into someone quite different.
A near-death experience brings Diana abruptly back to familiar city surroundings, where she tries to pick up the threads of her old life. Has she changed or have the people around her? Diana is no longer prepared to be just a follower, at work or in her relationships. She breaks down years of estrangement with her mother, takes the initiative in her career, and looks at Finn through new eyes.
Jodi Picoult's matchless ability to portray the full gamut of human emotions is once again on display in Wish You Were Here, along with her characteristically meticulous research into today's burning issues.
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About the Author
It is hard to exaggerate how well Picoult writes ― Financial Times
There are writers who try and do what Picoult does, and then there's Picoult ― Marie Claire
Taps into the trauma and uncertainty of 2020's global crisis. Absolutely a must-read ― Booklist
We couldn't turn the pages fast enough ― Closer
Extraordinary... it's such a great book -- Graham Norton
A must-read. Striking, eloquent, and thought-provoking... Emotionally intelligent and perceptive...This is Jodi Picoult at her best ― Love Reading
Surprising, emotional yet uplifting, this is a top read ― Sun on Sunday
If reading became a struggle for you during the pandemic, let Jodi Picoult show you how page-turning magic is not lost... This will make you laugh, nod and cry - and at one point gasp out loud with a twist you will not see coming. Sometimes you will take a moment to let it all sink in. Superb ― Press Association
Another fantastic and clever read from Picoult ― Woman
A fascinating exploration of the very nature of reality ― Saga Magazine
Picoult is at her best when bringing the magnificence of the Galapagos to life in all its strange and colourful glory... A few hours after finishing Wish You Were Here I broke down in tears... This is a book worth reading, a book which reminds us that our futures are not guaranteed or inevitable ― Irish Sunday Independent
Beautiful, beautiful prose and rich storytelling. I just loved it ― Lia Louis, author of Eight Perfect Hours --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B094CF3SCG
- Publisher : Allen & Unwin (30 November 2021)
- Language : English
- File size : 3730 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 336 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 97 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Our main characters, Dianna and Finn are a couple. Finn is a surgical resident in a NY hospital and Dianna works as an art specialist at Sotheby’s. When covid enters the world stage, little do our couple realise how it may inhabit and disrupt their lives. A planned holiday about to start is disrupted as all Drs are ordered to remain at work. Dianna and Finn discuss whether they cancel it or whether she still goes. Whether she gets out of NY and stays away from what is speculated to be the pandemic epicentre. No more plot. No spoilers.
As we sit here, 2 years into the pandemic, it must be acknowledged that it was a brave book to write. You could always say a risky book to write. As a widow from 2019, an ex-registered nurse myself, and someone who nursed my mum through to her passing in 2021, Ms Picoult, boy did you get this book right. Thank you so much for taking your time with your research.
My husband was in icu several times during the last years of his life and your writing of ICU a patients and effects from their stay….he suffered those too. I could relate to that. As a registered nurse, I can say that your writing of how nurses work from day to day is beautifully done. I noted the subtle humour that came in through some nurses comments. Again highly relatable. I was that nurse, but am not anymore. Your care in writing about dementia was beautifully done, allowing for the disease to be demonstrated through the exquisiteness of the person underneath.
This book was going to be controversial for some people and I think that is perceived in the Goodreads reviews.
- Some find it “hard to read”.
- Some who have lost someone to C-19 may find it a hard read.
- Others have said it is “too heavy, not a light read”.
- Others have said that there is not enough drama.
From my point of view, I’m a writer and a reader….
- This was fact with a fiction story overlay. Those in the world who have trouble seeing how covid can play out, would benefit from reading this book. It describes everything the world has experienced, but shares it through the eyes of a 29 year old fictional woman.
- This book is a life changer book. Anyone that reads it, should sit up and take stock and realise how short life is. Put the phone/tablet down and look at what’s around you.
- Readers should take stock of life and “be happy with what you have”. There is a saying “the secret to having it all, is knowing you already do”
The underlying message for me in this book…..realise who you are. Sometimes the person or event that is in front of you, that you think is the right thing for you…..may not be.
As Diana is alone stranded on the island, with no flights home and no family or friends, she finds a connection with a local family. But the connections she makes lead her to question everything about her life and her relationships.
I won't reveal more about this one, save for spoilers, but my first suggestion would be to go into this one without too much background. It was COVID intensive, so I appreciate it won't be for everyone or certainly not for reading during this time. This was definitely a case of the right book at the right time for me and I loved the contemplative nature of the story that the author crafted. I am being deliberately vague with this one but I will say it had some likeness to the authors' previous novel to me, which I also thoroughly enjoyed. 4.5*
Thanks so much to Allen & Unwin for this gifted review copy.
Top reviews from other countries
First, a word of caution: Jodi Picoult has never shied away from writing about uncomfortable subjects. This novel contains graphic accounts of people with Covid-19 as well as its wider consequences. It is a novel that I would also suggest reading ‘cold’, so only a brief summary.
Friday, the 13th March 2020 and Diana O'Toole's life is going well. At the age of twenty-nine she has a job she loves as an art specialist at Sotheby's New York and has recently secured an important client; an achievement that likely will lead to a promotion. She and her boyfriend, Finn, are about to leave on vacation to the Galapagos and she suspects that while there he is going to propose. So far it could be the set up for a romance novel.
Then Finn, a surgical resident at a NYC hospital, advises Diane that with the increasing cases of the new virus that the hospital needs him to stay. He insists that she should still go and reluctantly Diane agrees.
However, as Diane arrives in the Galapagos the world is shutting down, including her destination, Isabela Island. She elects to stay but finds herself stranded, with only intermittent news from the outside world. While on the island she makes connections with local people as well as with nature, and begins to contemplate aspects of her life to date. No further details to avoid spoilers.
As noted above, Picoult does not hold back on depicting the effects of the virus, not only on those infected but by loved ones distraught when unable to visit or say goodbye as well as the experiences of members of the medical profession. It considers the grief and loss, both personal and collective, experienced by many during the pandemic.
It also portrays how people responded to quarantine, lockdown and restrictions: baking, box sets, boredom, learning to Zoom, and the like. It brought back vivid memories of those early days of the pandemic when uncertainty was high.
I was blown away by this novel on many levels. Given that Diane is sharing her story in the first person, though with additional material, it is an personal account.
There was its central story though I was also drawn by details of the exclusive art world in which Diane works; an appreciation of the natural world and, given the location of the Galapagos, musings on Darwin’s theory of evolution. Spirituality and the sense of purpose also plays an important part in the narrative though in a subtle way. Perhaps most importantly is the journey that we all face in coming to terms with death.
I appreciated Jodi Picoult’s Author’s Note in which she details the intense research that she undertook in order to portray experiences by inviting survivors to share their accounts.
I also expect that ‘Wish You Were Here’ will prove popular with reading groups as it offers a great deal of scope for discussion alongside a good read.
Despite a theme that appears dark, there is still hope interwoven throughout. As one character says to Diane: “we are in uncharted territory…The future is completely up in the air.”
Overall, I feel that ‘Wish You Were Here’ is an important novel. A novel with heart that is complex and multilayered, yet accessible. It has also given me new perspectives to consider.
Very highly recommended.
The first half of the book was OK but slow, with some good descriptions of the Galapogos. Lots of description of the pandemic from a medical point of view, seemed unnecesary as we are all living it!
The 2nd half was far fetched, Not at all like her usual work.
This one is blissfully linear in terms of narrative, or at least it seems to be until the momentous twist around halfway through the novel. I loved the vivid descriptions of the Galapagos islands - the hot sun on Diana's head 'like a coronation' and the sky 'an unholy cobalt.'
2020 Manhattan in the grip of the pandemic is also compellingly evoked, especially through Finn's emails describing his work with covid patients in ICU. Diana's expectations of surgeon Finn seem unrealistic - she recalls that Gabriel 'gave me a volcano for my birthday' whereas Finn takes the day off work but they don't go anywhere.
Will Diana be happy with farmer Gabriel, though? Will she even find enough work as an art therapist on Isabela Island amongst the marine iguanas? Is Beatriz the daughter the two have together?
Postscript: I think Jodi wanted The Book of Both Ways to have the theme of lucid dreaming too (all of the Egypt section) but was dissuaded by her editor.
I enjoyed this book, it took time to gather pace; and really felt I knew the characters well as the book progressed through the first half.
Set during the covid pandemic, Diana, is the main character in the book. She is a woman who has a life plan, her boyfriend Finn is a part of that plan. Together they know where they are headed and what they want to achieve,including must see places to visit.
They have a paid for, much anticipated holiday booked to the Galapagos Islands just as the pandemic starts. Finn is a Dr in the hospital, he stays, she goes.
Time on one of the islands makes Diana find her inner resources, whilst also trying to keep in contact with Finn despite lack of phone signal and dire Internet service.
Part two of the book has given me a great deal to ponder.