If your life was going perfectly to plan, would you risk everything to change it?
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 Galapagos 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 Galapagos, 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 . . .
Average rating from 74 members
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 Galapagos 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 Galapagos, 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. Wow, I am not sure I have the words to this incredible read justice but I will try. I will admit I was apprehensive to read a book set around covid, I was unsure whether I would find it enjoyable or if it would be an all too real reminder. Well, I need not have feared, Picoult pulls it out the book and then some. This is just the most incredible read and has absolutely everything one expects from Picoult; emotion, beauty, pain, love, dilemmas, and in this book more than others, realism. I found myself completely immersed in the world of Diana and Finn and it was a world I did not want to return from. Their story is stunning and incredibly heartfelt, I felt everything they did and it made this a very special read. Picoult even manages to throw in a couple of twists which was very unexpected! Picoult has captured Diana and Finn incredibly well, they felt like real people and their story touched me in so many ways. They go on a real journey during the course of this book and I went with them and I will not be forgetting that for a long time. With all of Picoult's books, it is the small details that really set them apart from others. In this read, I adored the exploration of the art world and how that has impacted on so many of our characters. It felt really special to be set in the Galapagos as well, in a time when we cannot travel, Picoult ensured we did. Absolutely every aspect of this read was perfection, all the miniscule plot threads come together to form one amazing read. 'Wish You Were Here' is an exceptional read from Picoult, definitely one of my favourites of hers and is absolutely my stand-out read of 2021. This is an incredible read and I cannot recommend it enough. You will not regret reading this. Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advance copy.
Legit one of my favourite authors and as usual she did not disappoint. It is welll written, good character development and good storyline. I loved that it was current and set in a situation that we can all relate too. Gripping right from the start, I couldn't pout it down
What a amazing read. This was a very real but good read. Thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish and could not get enough of. This is a must read for anyone who enjoys a good book!! Absolutely loved the characters, the plot, the tension - impossible to put it down. Certainly recommended!
I will start this review with a disclaimer or two. 1) I used to love Jodi Picoult, back in the courtroom drama days of writing. I would speed read a new novel in a day and emerge gasping for breath to reread again. It’s probably been 10 years since I did this - despite still reading, I just don’t enjoy her novels in the same way. Each one just seems to be an info dump of research rather than story and it’s been a real shame for me. 2) I have read so many novels on Netgalley recently where COVID has played a part and I have reviewed them disparagingly because they will date, they don’t capture it, and COVID has only been mentioned because it can be - somethjng “original”. This novel, however, is beyond special. An absolute return to form for Picoult - from the moment I picked it up I couldn’t put it down. The way she captures the sheer horror of the early COVID days will, for some, be too close to stomach right now - it’s painfully resonating and beautifully written. And the twist is as good as any she has ever written, if not better. The most telling thing is that I looked down at my percentage on my kindle, saw I was 93% through and felt real anguish - I didn’t want to leave the story and the characters behind. An absolute beautiful triumph.
Of all the books I have read this year, I cannot think of any that will resonate so deeply with a global audience as this one. Jodi Picoult carries out an impressive level of research for her oh so human look at the pain, losses, lockdown, heartbreak, grief, loneliness and isolation experienced by people as the horrifying nightmare of Covid-19 took hold and shut down so much of the world. I can understand if this is too soon for many readers to read about, but I found this to be an absolutely riveting read, highlighting the incredibly courageous work of the frontline medical staff, whilst providing an insightful glimpse into the beauty and nature of the Galapagos Islands, its people, history and culture. In New York, the ambitious Diana O'Toole is almost thirty, and on the verge of achieving all that she wants professionally as an art specialist at Sotheby's, and personally, convinced that Finn Colson, a surgical resident at the Presbyterian hospital will propose on a trip to Galapagos to celebrate her 30th birthday. However, her carefully planned life is about to shot into tiny pieces when Finn is unable to go with her as a medical emergency develops with the beginnings of the Covid-19 virus. Diana arrives on Galapagos as it is going into quarantine and lockdown, leaving her stranded, her luggage is lost, she cannot speak the language, and communications are patchy. She is isolated and lonely, but finds herself connecting with a local family. Like so many people, Diana is to find herself re-evaluating her sense of identity and working out what really matters in life. There is a humdinger of a ingenious twist that Picoult weaves into the narrative that I cannot reveal as it will be entering into spoiler territory. This is one of the author's best works, it is multi-layered, the characters are stellar and feel so authentic, and whilst it does not make for easy reading, I found myself turning the pages as fast as I could. Ultimately, this is a emotionally poignant, thought provoking novel, of what it is to be human, and the love, resilence, bravery and hope in the face of a global pandemic that broke so many lives. I think so many readers will love and appreciate this book. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.
Beautiful book, moving love story, fantastic characters and a book that whisks you away from all the mess currently going on in the world. Loved it.
Simply love Jodi picoult novels and this one was outstanding. Everything about this book is captivating. This novel is impossible to put down. I downloaded the arc this morning, and by this afternoon, I had finished. The rollercoaster was intense, the twists and turns unexpected, and the element of surprise insane. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton. Publication Date: 25/11/21 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ No spoilers I hadn’t realised until I started it that this book was set at the beginning of the covid pandemic in America. I’m so glad I did not let that put me off. It’s about so much more than a pandemic. It’s about life changing moments and decisions. I absolutely loved it. I found it engrossing, informative, ultimately uplifting and truly empathetic. There are some really beautiful moments and a twist at the halfway point which I really did not anticipate I thought about this book for a long time after I finished it. Oh. And now I want to go to the Galápagos Islands Cannot recommend it enough. I’d like to thank the author, publisher and netgalley for providing me with this advance digital copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
This is one of the best Jodi Picoult books of recent times. I was a bit wary about setting a book during Covid and at times it was very close to the bone and will be a hard read for people who suffered hospitalisations or losses of loved ones but it's done in a very real way and acknowledges the times we're in. It was also the ideal set-up for someone to be genuinely stranded abroad. I have to say, my favourite parts were the ones set in Galapagos. The story of the people Diana meets were captivating and I really felt very invested in them. Every character is drawn so well and their stories all feel very real. The "twist" was fascinating and I think the book really led to a conclusion that felt right. I was thoroughly engrossed and thrilled to have this chance to read it early. It was also a bit of escapism, reading about a quiet island and its beauty. It felt the closest to travelling in quite a while!
The word 'wow' features in many reviews of this book and it will in mine too. Just wow! Such a clever way to tell a story. I was thoroughly enjoying the way Jodi was describing Diana and Finn's separate experiences of the outbreak of COVID; Finn's as a surgeon in a busy New York Hospital and hers locked down on a Galapagos Island where she went for the planned holiday on her own when Finn had to stay behind to work. The story then took a totally unexpected turn half way through that had me eagerly turning the pages to find out how this was going to end......and the ending? Enough to say it was perfect.. This story really opened my eyes to what a COVID patient lives through and the pressures of the front line doctors and nurses. This will definitely be going on my favourites shelf.
This book has left me shell shocked. You think you know about COVID, but you don’t. This gives you an insight to the real COVID-19. The distress the pain the hopelessness either as a doctor or nurse or a patient. Being in a unaware state and waking up to find everything different and not knowing what is real and what is fantasy, finding that in a few days, hours or weeks everything that you believe in has changed. This book will stay with me forever. I would recommend it to anyone who is close to a COVID patient to get an understanding of what they are going through. Thank you for allowing me to read this Arc.
Where to begin with this book. Wow. At first, I was dubious about reading it. Books that feature covid, I found I have not enjoyed and just wanted to forget about that part of life. However, I cannot resist a Jodi Picoult novel. I am so glad that I picked this up. This book had everything. I did not understand why Diana chose to go on the holiday without her husband. I would not have been able to leave my loved ones in these times. But then the author delivered the twist at the end of part 1 and I had to compose myself after reading it. I was so shocked. From then on the novel is a totally different novel, but one I enjoyed and I enjoyed being on Diana’s journey. I will definitely be re-reading this book. This is a book that will stay with me for a while.
Such an interesting idea. Do you the author's comments at the end as she says so much that is truth and worth reading. This is effectively a book in 2 halves. Each believable in themselves as the pandemic wends its way through the lives of the characters. This is one of several novels that have recently been released that reflect the pandemic and its impact on different lives and liifestyles. And death. This is inevitable in such a novel and how we react to the deaths and then the lack of funerals. And the end of life celebrations. There is a lack of closure. And of course, we must reflect on the impact for the medical staff of working on patients who die despite everything. And keep on dying. PTSD indeed. So messages for us in here to think about.
I didn’t think I would ever read a novel about Covid-19! This pandemic has become such an integral part of the way we live our lives that I didn’t want to spend my leisure time reading about it. However, because I never miss a Jodi Picoult novel, I relented. What an incredible journey this novel took me on! I loved the narrative, with the interjected emails from Finn describing his situation. The pages are filled with tenderness and hope. I became so emotional throughout the book, and many tears were shed. This is typical “Jodi Picoult”: a novel filled with emotion, love, self-growth, and deep ethical issues. Living in Mauritius (a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean) I could completely relate to Diana’s experiences on Galapagos – this is exactly what happened in Mauritius when we shut down for 18 months (we’re STILL living a very restricted life!). The descriptions of the island are incredibly detailed and wonderfully described - I could feel myself being there! The characters of Diana and Finn are so beautifully developed, as are those of Abuela, Gabriel and Beatriz on Galapagos. I loved each one of them intimately – they were so incredibly real to me! I felt I was living through this journey with them, and I really did not want this journey to end. I loved the art narrative and all the symbolism that this introduced. I am an artist myself, so I just LOVED learning about the artists and art pieces presented in this story. It wove a beautiful thread throughout the novel. Ultimately, it’s an incredible story about losing and then finding yourself, in a world that has turned everything upside down. My favourite novel of 2021! #netgalley #jodipicoult #wishyouwerehere #hodder&stoughton
When I saw that there was going to be a new Jodi Picoult book that let me travel with the protagonist to The Galapagos, I had to read it. Diana O Toole's life is completely on track until Covid derails it and she finds herself leaving her 'perfect doctor fiancé' back home to take their planned dream trip to The Galapagos alone. I loved being on the island of Isabela with Diana, seeing her experience the lush landscape and unplugging from her career and life track for the first time was really beautiful. Covid changed so much for so many of us, so it was also really relatable to see how it became a point of heartache for Diana, as she grappled with what she thought she wanted and what her life was meant to be. And then...wow. I really don't want to say too much, other than I was an early reader of Jodi's, but didn't really enjoy The Book of Two Ways, her 2020 release, so I was a bit apprehensive about getting 'stuck' with this one too. I needn't have been. I loved it and my heart is still aching and expanding now I've finished it. I'll be recommending this one for a long time! Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for the ARC!
I love this author and this book did not disappoint, a touching and moving novel set in the pandemic, would definitely recommend
An absolutely beautiful book, I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. No spoilers here, but wow this book is just amazing, very unusual - Ive never read a book quite like it! Set to a backdrop of Covid this book explores memory, perception and parallel realities, I also loved the nod to Yoko! I am the first to admit I know little about the intricacies of fine art, so I did wander if it would keep my interest, but I loved it, another masterpiece from Jodi Picoult, do not miss this wonderful book!
Another brilliant book by Jodi Picoult. Beautiful detail of the Galapagos, mixed in with just the right amount of art description. Poignantly written about covid. There’s something for everyone in this book. Highly recommended read.
What an incredible read. This was a very real but enjoyable read. From start to finish, I was completely engrossed and couldn't get enough of it. I adore Jodi Picoult's novels, and this one was particularly good. This book is engrossing in every way. This novel is impossible to put down. This is a must-read for anyone who enjoys a good book! I couldn't put it down because I was so taken with the characters, the plot, and the tension. The rollercoaster was intense, the twists and turns were unexpected, and the element of surprise was insane! Definitely recommend!
Wow, I wasn't expecting this! Yet another fantastic book from this amazing author. She starts a book taking you in one direction then you are suddenly thrown off track. An amazing train of thought, a book that really draws you in, a leaves you pondering
Wow, what a book. I was really pulled in with this book. It was fantastic to read a book relating to recent events and see if from another person's perspective. Diana and Finns story was heartwarming but heartbreaking at the same time. The outcome Diana choose for herself in the end was so fitting to what she went through. Loved this one.
Hooked from the first line! To say I was thrilled to receive this ARC from NetGalley is a major understatement. I read this in 2 days! I am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult, well who isn’t? And this did not disappoint. This is the first novel set in Covid times that I’ve come across. Diana is a go-getter. A Manhattan woman with a plan. She’s working in a dream job at Sotheby’s and is living with a dream guy, a doctor named Finn. She is on target to live her dream life. However Covid hits NY and Diana’s world is turned upside down. She goes on an epic adventure to the Galápagos Islands and gets stranded there due to the travel restrictions in place. There she meets some amazing characters and has some incredible experiences and comes to the realisation that perhaps her goal driven life isn’t all that’s in store for her. The storyline hooked me straight in, combined with the beautiful descriptions of the Galapagos and a sweet tender romance, this novel has it all. There was a moment in the book that really bothered me because Covid rules were broken and I was extremely frustrated reading it. Given the context I could understand why but it still bothered me. But this is a fantastic read. Don’t hesitate to pick it up!
Jodi Piccoult’s latest novel I feel is her best yet! It is a novel that will resonate with so many, but may also be too soon for some. Diana is an art auctioneer, about to make her biggest sale to date and in a happy relationship with Finn, a surgical resident. They’re about to take a two week vacation to the Galápagos. Everything is perfect. Until the COVID-19 pandemic hits NYC. This book was brilliantly written and absolutely page turner! Without giving spoilers, there is shocking twist which drew me into the book even more. There is so much more to this story than meets the eye. A HUGE thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book to read in exchange for an honest review!
The first half of the book I was quite confused by how mundane and predictable the story was; certainly not the Jodi Picoult I was used to! Needless to say Picoult pulled another incredible story out of the bag and you just need to persevere with the first half for a brilliant pay off in the second! It gave me full body goosebumps more than once, and included such incredible detail that I feel I have visited Galápagos myself! A brilliant story which captures, death, loss and growth during the unique time of a global pandemic.
I requested this book because I am a huge fan of Jodi Piccoult. I have to admit that if I had read the blurb first there is a good chance I wouldn’t have done. But I’m so glad I did! Yes that’s a strange start to a review. The book strongly focuses on covid- New York on the cusp of the pandemic, a doctor working in ICU, a covid survivor, restrictions. All of us have been affected by the pandemic in different ways. I myself work in the NHS, in a non-clinical role away from the front line, but in a vital support role which has immersed me since last March. Therefore I would probably have opted not to read something which so strongly brought me back to reality. Interweaved into the story is that of a woman stranded on the Galápagos Islands during the pandemic, unable to leave to be with her partner, unresolved tensions between a mother and her daughter, and the world and art of Henri Toulouse Lautrec. As ever, Piccoult’s detailed researching brought both the islands and the art to life, I found myself googling both to find out more too. As the stories converge to leave the central character evaluating her life, i had to read on- in fact this was a one day- one sitting read. Brilliantly put together and compelling to the end. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
The story It’s March 2020 and the day before Sotheby’s art historian Diana and her Surgeon boyfriend are due to travel to their bucket list Galapagos trip. Diana is meant to be fetching a Toulouse-Lautrec painting for an auction from a character that has a huge resemblance to Yoko Ono when the owner pulls out of the auction. Diana instead goes to visit her estranged mother in the nursing home. When she gets home Finn suggests she travels to Galapagos without him rather than forfeit the trip as has been told he will need to be available for Covid. Diana travels to the Galapagos and when she gets there, the island goes into lockdown and she is unable to travel home. The story of her trip interspersed with infrequent emails from Finn at the frontline of the pandemic form the basis of the story. My thoughts The first part of this book felt so real. Imagine traveling and not being able to get home in lockdown. Being in a place where you don’t speak the language and everything is closed down. But the time out forces Diana to evaluate her lifestyle and the things that are important to her. A twist I wasn’t expecting at all comes halfway through the story and turns everything on it’s head and puts things even more into perspective. I was approved for this eARC a few weeks ago but have felt like I needed to be emotionally ready to read this. Reading the author’s epilogue at the end of the book pulled everything together, her reasons for writing this now while this pandemic is still fresh in her mind and heart. I feel like 2020 will be a landmark in history. Something like WW1 or WW2 have been, upending how the world functions. It’s just been too soon for many of us to process yet. This is a stunning read ❤️
Such a poignant story, incredibly close to home and written superbly. I was hesitant at first as I’ve read other books featuring covid recently that didn’t sit well but once I started this one I simply couldn’t put It down. I felt like I really understood Diana - her narrative was so incredibly easy to follow and I was immediately invested in her, probably a times when I shouldn’t have been. I must admit that it was weird and haunting to read back descriptions of the early pandemic whilst we’re still not out of the woods. I did also find there were elements of things I felt were from the UK despite being set in America, but that might just be my ignorance more than anything. The descriptions of the Galapagos in particular were breathtaking and crafted so exquisitely. I was truly Travelling with Diana through the pages and could really imagine it all. The end of part 1 was so unexpected that I cannot even begin to explain my feelings… if I thought I was gripped before, now this was a different level. I sped through from this point needing to know how it ended and boy did Jodi Picoult deliver…. The ending literally gave me goose bumps. I’d recommend this to everyone with the caveat of the fact it touches some very heavy topics and did have my tearing up more than once.
I will openly admit to being a Picoult fan before reading the first line of this book but oh my Lord this one blew me away. I nearly fear writing this review as I know I won't do the book justice. Diana and Finn are a young couple living in NYC , about to embark on the trip of a.life time to the Galapagos Islands They have their whole lives ahead of them, each loving their jobs, him as a surgeon and her working f9r Sotherby's.. When the Covid 19 virus hits NYC Finn must remain behind in order to work in the hospital. Diana heads off on her trip only to arrive to an island that is soon locked down. However, she very soon finds some islanders that are willing to 'adopt' her Soon Diana finds new ways of living and new ways of happiness that she could only have imagined before. The trouble is she is finding it harder to miss Finn. . Picoult takes the reader on an amazing journey, beautifully describing the island, ironically during a time when travel.is banned. She has an unrivalled way of getting the reader thinking, of raising the difficult subjects and coming at the topic from both sides.. The journey for Diana and Finn doesn't end there with twists involved that will leave the reader with goosebumps for a long time. As mentioned before I have loved all her books but I tempted to say she might have outdone herself with this one. Please do yourself a favour a read. A million thanks for the advanced copy.
Jodi Picoult is one of my favourite authors and she never disappoints. The topics of her books are always relevant and current and I wish you were here was no different. I loved how this book showed the pandemic from so many different points of view, the characters were so real and likeable. How Jodi combined the art world and the stunning Galapagos island of Isabela with the horror of the pandemic was seamless. There was a twist I didn’t see coming and it had a great ending. All in all a beautiful thought provoking read and I will be recommending to all as I do with all Jodi Picoults books.
Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult This was my first full on pandemic book. Others have mentioned or touched upon but this was full immersion! I’ve been disappointed with the last two of Jodi Picoult’s books. They were still well written, but for some reason I felt detached from everyone in A Spark of Light maybe because in the U.K. abortion isn’t such a contentious issue? The Book of Two Ways felt almost so full of detail that I was reading a textbook and losing interest in the story itself. This was a glorious return of form that I truly loved. Diana and her boyfriend Finn live in New York City, he is a doctor and she works at an auction house for fine art, on the verge of promotion to become an Art Specialist at Sotheby’s. She’s trying to acquire a Toulouse Lautrec painting that hangs in the bedroom of a Japanese artist -loosely based on Yoko Ono. Then, everything changes. Finn and Diana have a very set life plan and part of that was an upcoming visit to the Galápagos Islands. However there are rumours flying around in the medical community of a strange new virus in Wuhan, China. It seems like SARS in that it affects breathing, because it causes pneumonia and requires huge amounts of resources to keep patients alive. Diana’s boyfriend feels torn, as a doctor he’s worried and thinks they should be preparing but the president is on TV telling everyone it’s no worse than flu. What’s the truth? When the hospital announces all leave is cancelled they know the virus is coming. Diana asks what they should do with the Galapagos holiday and he tells her to go without him. She arrives on the last boat and with everything closed she has to take the kind offer of an apartment from a cleaner at the hotel called Abuela. She meets Abuela’s granddaughter Beatrice who appears to have secrets and an inner pain that brings out a maternal instinct Diana didn’t know she had. Tour guide and Beatrice’s father, Gabriel, is the perfect person to be stranded with. He knows every corner of the island and has no work, so he can show Diana some of the sights she would never have seen ordinarily. The islands sound miraculous and here Picoult really does create an incredible sense of place. The seals lazily basking on the jetty, the sea turtles and their nests buried in sand, lush vegetation and lizards lying around intertwined. I could see and taste the salt air. I loved the islanders too - their openness to Diana, the bartering market set up when the island quarantined itself from the world. Everything is vivid and almost hyper-real. Then came the twist!! Oh my goodness I did not expect that at all. This was brilliantly done and shocked me. Yet it was all too plausible. Diana has one link to the world beyond the Galapagos and that’s the occasional email from Finn. In it we see the reality of the COVID-19 epidemic in New York City. They have so many people being admitted and not enough people recovering and moving through rehabilitation. What do you do when the resources simply run out? Finn is exhausted, has permanent bruises on his cheeks, because they have to keep their masks so tight and is struggling mentally. He describes to her the patients lost, ones he can’t forget, because there are too many to remember them all. This was tough reading and I’ll be honest, I learned things about the virus I’d never heard before such as vascular compromise, bowel necrosis and neurological deficit. There were points where I felt a bit breathless and panicky. As someone who had to shelter from the virus, it made me think twice about going out in a couple of places. Anyone who thinks it’s just a ‘bit of flu’ should be locked in a room with the audio book playing on repeat! Please don’t let this put you off though. It’s beautifully written and the insight it gives into how hard things have been for those in the medical profession is priceless. We owe it to them to read such well-researched and thoughtful accounts of the pandemic. The Galapagos sections are like paradise in comparison and this was the space where I could take a long deep breath. This book is Picoult at her best, in that it has an interesting storyline, and characters as well as an issue she could really get her teeth into. As the book started I was prepared for it to be set within the art world and I was already curious to see her relationship with Kito - the Japanese art collector - because they seemed to be on a similar wavelength. I thought we might end up embroiled in a legal battle over ownership or whether the painting was forgery. Then everything she’d built at the beginning became subsumed by the pandemic and it became a totally different story. The structure effectively echoes how our lives have been interrupted and changed forever. There are people who went into the pandemic with a job that no longer exists. People have lost friends, family members and partners. The pandemic has changed people, they are looking at how they live and making changes. We moved into the country, and I’m sure others have done similar, focusing on enjoying life and working to live instead of living to work. There are people like me who were disabled, but felt like part of society. Gradually, over the last 18months I have become a recluse and I’ve felt more and more separated from people. Especially those who say we should be kept in so those who aren’t so vulnerable can have their lives back. I’ve felt like an inconvenience, and like we’re holding the rest of the country to ransom. I’m hoping these feelings change with time, but who knows? I could understand Diana’s decision at the end of the novel, it might have seemed illogical but I got it. When you’ve been through something momentous you change, and part of that is re-evaluating life and choosing what makes you happy. It’s trying to recapture hope. I don’t want things to ‘go back to the normal’; I want this pandemic to mean something and I want things to get better. Diana takes that decision for herself and I found that both brave and uplifting.
Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher. One of my favourite authors and this was probably up there as one of her best. I really enjoyed the characters and also the storyline. 5 stars all the way.
Wow this book is poignant. I absolutely loved reading Diana’s story and the afternote by Jodi Picoult pulled on the heartstrings.
Great twist on what otherwise might be "another pandemic story". Love Jodi Picoult anyway, but having a sumptuous romance B Story on a tropical island against the backdrop of covid made this feel fresh and inviting.
After the experiences of the last 2 years, I resonated so much with this book. Jodi Picoult expresses the pain, loneliness and isolation experienced during lockdown. Although this may feel confronting to read so close to the covid-19 pandemic, I encourage everyone to read this as it was absolutely compelling and shines a light on the incredible work of front line workers.
I’m a MASSIVE @jodipicoult stan, I’ll read anything she writes; so when this unexpected piece of bookmail arrived from @hodderbooks I actually SQUEALED. Not only is it a truly gorgeous proof (it has French flaps- fancy!!) it, in true Picoult fashion, has a hard hitting and interesting plot. Diana is on track, she’s nearly 30, is about to get a promotion and in a few days she’s going on a bucket list holiday to the Galápagos where she’s certain that her boyfriend, Finn, is going to propose. Except it’s March 2020 and the pandemic has just hit NYC where Finn works as a surgical resident, he can’t possibly go to the Galápagos so he ships Diana off on her own while he stays behind. This is only the beginning and I’m not going into any more detail for fear of ruining it for you, but this book was incredible, quite a short book but it packs a mighty punch. I was crying on the beach. All I can say is bravo Jodi Picoult, you’ve done it again and I hope you all read it come November. It can be a little difficult on places because of Finn’s heavy involvement in the covid situation in NYC hospitals but ultimately a wonderful read. Thank you again to Team Hodder and quite frankly, I can’t wait to see what Picoult does next.
This is the 1st Book that I have read by the author and It won't be the last as I loved the author writing If your life was going perfectly to plan, would you risk everything to change it? 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 Galapagos 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 Galapagos, 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 . . . Wow this book without giving away any spoilers is going to stay with me for a long times esp as it set during the covid pandemic , I work for the nhs so can relate to Finn with certain regards to working in the health sector, I read it in a day and Loved all the characters and all the twists and turns in the book that I didn't see coming wow what an ending to this book, when I started this book that is not the ending I was forecasting but I loved it, I am now going to hunt out from my independent bookshop all the rest of the authors books as if they are as good as this I'm going to be very happy . This Book is out on 25th November 2021. With thanks to Netgalley & Hodder & Stoughton for the arc of this book in exchange for this honest review. 5 out of 5
4 5 stars I love Jodi Picoult, her books always capture my imagination & make me think. For me this was a book of two halves & for the main I loved it, but there were little niggles that left me a little lost, unfortunately I can't go into these without massive, book ruining spoilers. The characters are all brilliantly written, the exploration of covid & it's effects, both on those who have had it & society as a whole, were really well considered (the authors note is a must read). Jodi also uses this novel to explore different mother/daughter- parent/child relationships which added another dimension to an already interesting novel. As with her last book, The Book Of Two Ways, there is a lot of information/research weaved into the story, this time I felt it was done more delicately & fitted the story well. I'm happy to say this isn't a novel about covid directly, but a novel with covid as a backdrop & tool used cleverly to expose people's vulnerability & shine a light on what is important when a crisis hits. A great read, imaginatively constructed & well written, as you'd expect from this master.
An absolutely beautiful novel which is so relevant to everyone that has lived through the covid pandemic. We visit the Galápagos Islands with Diana O’Toole, an art specialist who has gone on holiday without her doctor fiancé. She becomes stranded on the island as the world shuts down and we follow how she copes with being isolated, away from family and everything she knows. It’s difficult to write more about the storyline without plot spoilers, but I will say that the descriptions made me need to visit the islands, and her experiences resonated. I also loved the shared references to lockdown like ‘tiger king’ and banana bread. Wonderfully written, it’s a must read from me! Thanks so much for this arc in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
I am bit hesitant of reading books about COVID-19 but Jodi Picoult’s latest offering Wish you were here is a beautifully written, poignant story that we can all relate too. Diana is an Art auctioneer and just about to get a promotion. She is also about to go to the Galapagos for a two-week vacation with her Surgeon boyfriend Finn. She thinks that is about to propose. When Covid -19 hits in New York. Instead of cancelling the trip. Finn persuades her to go to the Island on her own. They think that there is nothing to worry about and she will be back in two weeks. But when she gets there the whole island shuts down and is unable to leave the island. So, she explores the island and meets some of the locals which she starts making a connection with. Many weeks go by and until and accident on the island, she realises she is back to New York, and she is on ventilator in the hospital with COVID-19. She never left New York at all and has been in hospital for the last 10 days. Wow what can I say about Jodi Picoult’s latest offering. This is a fantastic and sensitively written story of the times that we have currently experienced. The death and the loss and the regrets and what we could have done differently it we had more time. But it also shows us what it the most important in our lives. And the way forward. This is a book that will make you think and have questions after. 5 stars from me.
Wish You Were Here is Jodi Picoult at her best. Diana O’Toole watched the car wreck that was her parent’s marriage and determined that her life would pan out differently. Now she is 29 and her life is following the plan she has set out for herself. She is an associate specialist at Sothebys and is about to land the account that is sure to guarantee her a promotion. She is due to go on the holiday of the lifetime with her boyfriend and she is pretty sure she will be coming back with an engagement ring. Then the Covid-19 concerns begin to grow and her boyfriend Finn, a resident in a New York City hospital, tells her that she should go on the holiday without him. Once she arrives in the Galapagos, she discovers the island is going into lockdown and she is stranded there without any knowledge of the language and nowhere to stay. “In an effort to seem more chill than I naturally am, I have just stranded myself on an island.” Being on the island causes Diana to reflect on the choices that have brought her to this state, and she begins to question if her plan is set in stone. But is everything what it appears? When I first read the blurb for Wish You Were Here I both loved and hated it. Why would I want to read a book set in the very pandemic we are living through? The more I thought about it though the more I realised that maybe it was exactly what I needed to read. Diana’s dad died four years ago, and she has a poor relationship with her mother who now has dementia. “I did not miss the irony of the fact that the parent I missed desperately was the one who was no longer in the world, while the parent I could take or leave was inextricably tied to me for the long haul.” One of the many things that Picoult is adept at is being brutally honest and the quote below sums up the feelings of myself and a lot of my colleagues about the ‘clap for carers’ in the UK. “I read that the Empire State Building will be lit up red and white this week for health care workers. We don’t give a fuck about the Empire State Building, or about people banging pots and pans about 7pm. Most of us won’t even see or hear it, because we’re in the hospital trying to save people who cannot be saved. What we want is for everyone to just wear a mask.” Wish You Were Here has Picoult’s trademark twist. She takes a topic most of us feel we know inside out and then throws out a whole new aspect of it. This book also has one of the best summaries I have read on how we all feel about lost time due to covid. “These days I am thinking about loss. Because of this pandemic, everyone feels like they’ve been robbed of something, or – in the most extreme and permanent of cases – someone. A job, an engagement, a painting for auction. A graduation, a vacation, a freshman year. A grandmother, a sister, a lover. Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow – I realise that viscerally now – but that doesn’t keep us from feeling cheated when it’s yanked away.” Wish You Were Here was an incredible book and I am so glad I chose to read it.
It's Friday the 13th and Diana is an ambitious young appraiser at Sotheby's in New York. She's about to go on a long-awaited holiday, where she knows Finn, her surgeon boyfriend, will propose and the next stage of her carefully planned life will begin. But it is Friday the 13th of March 2020. The new virus hits. Finn can't leave the city, and suggests she goes without him. In the Galapagos, unable to get back to her real life, Diana learns about the devastation hitting the world as she hears intermittently from her boyfriend. She's discovering a new side to herself and a new kind of life, when everything changes . . . I received a copy of this book from the publisher Hodder and Staunton, and netgalley, in return for an honest review. I’m a huge Jodi Picoult fan, so there’s no denying I was ridiculously excited to see this book on Netgalley, and even more excited when I was approved! I read this one as a buddy read with 5 of my pals, and we all really enjoyed it (all book reviewers and all approved on Netgalley). There was a bit of controversy around this book before it came out, people saying they weren’t sure about reading a book based on the pandemic, which is still very much going on. And I get that, I’ve hardly been anywhere in almost 19 months, but I knew Ms JP would write it well. The book is mostly all about Diana and The Galapagos, with Covid mentioned sporadically throughout. The book is told from the perspective of Diana, who jets off to The Galapagos alone, only to get there and find everything is closed due to the pandemic, and she is stuck. I loved the Galapagos parts of the story, the descriptions were amazing and I felt whisked away while reading. I really liked Diana, and was rooting for her character all the way through. Finn I wasn’t as fussed on, I felt Earth sorry for him with what he was going through working on the Covid wards. Jodi’s descriptions of how Finn was feeling and the people who lost their lives, it was all very real and close to home. And there was a certain point me and my pals were a bit shocked. I won’t go into much more detail but yes read this book, then read it again, and fall in love with The Galapagos. Well done again Ms picoult.