Wish You Were Here
The Sunday Times bestseller readers are raving about
by Jodi Picoult
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Pub Date 25 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 25 Nov 2021
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 258 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
I loved this book... We start with Diana and her partner Finn getting ready to go on holiday to Galapagos when COVID19 starts to infect Americans. Finn works in a hospital so can't leave but suggests Diana goes alone. As she arrives, the island is going into lock down and she finds herself stranded in paradise... no money, no phone, no Internet and no hotel! But this is only the start of the journey for Diana. Her return triggers a shift in her that changes everything. It also makes us ask important questions about what reality is and what do we really need when its all said and done.
I literally couldn't put this book down. The COVID19 element of the story is sad but fascinating. Diana and Finn are great characters and we meet others along the way who I just fell in love with. I cared about all of them and wanted them all to be OK.... but with the virus nothing is guaranteed. Its a sobering reminder about the severity of COVID and its far reaching consequences... including those we don't know about yet.
This is a fantastic book. It has illness, death and tragedy but it also has love, hope and strength.
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley from the publisher with no promise of a favourable review.
This is surprisingly the third novel that I've read set during lockdown 2020, and it was by far the best. It was a very different novel for Jodi Picoult, it's not the same court room drama with a moral issue at the centre. Instead it looks at how we can spend all our lives chasing a dream, to realise that we didn't really want that dream after all and then having the bravery to change course part way through our lives.
As with all Jodi Picoult novels there was a twist, it came in the middle of the book and when it happened I wasn't sure that I liked it. It felt like a cheap shot and I was tempted to throw the book across the room in disgust. But I didn't, I kept on reading. And the twist got expanded on and explained, and I changed my mind. Now that I've read the rest of the book and I've read the author notes the twist makes perfect sense.
I studied art history as part of my degree so that side of the novel was really enjoyable to me, I even started googling to see if the painting described existed and whether it was owned by Yoko Ono.
This could have been quite preachy, I suppose all of the Picoult's books have the prospect of being preachy given their subject matters, but it wasn't. It showed just how scary covid was to those on the front line and to be honest, if we hadn't just lived through it I'm not sure I'd have believed that this could have happened in such a way. I also thought it was very good at portraying the uncertainty of March - one day we're thinking it's not going to be that bad, the next day the world came to a standstill. I remember thinking part way through that people should be given this to read in 20 years time as a history lesson of just how terrifying our past 18 months have been.
Very weirdly, I was really excited to get to the author notes, I wanted to read more about what Picoult had learned and the obviously great amount of research that had gone into this novel in what must have been a very short period of time.
Diana O'Toole and her partner Finn live happily together with their lives mapped out for a golden future. They have booked a fantastic holiday in the Galapagos and everything is all set for them to go to the airport and fly away to paradise. It can’t come too quickly for them both. They have poured through information about the islands and this has made them extra excited and ready for it all to begin.
It is 2020, right at the beginning of Covid19 pandemic. Diana is twenty-nine, and she has the notion that on this holiday Finn will propose to her, she will obviously accept, and hey presto, their lives together and their plans for the future will be put into action. Finn is well appointed in his work as a hospital surgeon and Diane is at the pinnacle of her working life at Sotheby’s in New York City. She has just snaffled up a rich, new female client with a famous piece of art that she wants to put up for auction, This sale will almost certainly earn Diana a huge promotion which will give her the honour of being an Art Specialist, not just an assistant. She is so excited and ready to take steps that will make her secure and living her best life.
Finn arrives home with unwelcome news. He has been asked to cancel his leave and step up to help at the hospital. Covid19 has struck the city hard and the death statistics are growing as fast as lightening. He will be on the frontline trying to save dangerously ill patients who need intubation or oxygen to help them breathe. He will be fighting a battle against the deadly pandemic, unknowing what will happen next. He must honour the promise all doctors take, the Hippocratic Oath, and help his colleagues fight the war against the virus. It is his duty and he cannot ignore what is happening. He certainly cannot go off on holiday at this time. He persuades Diana to travel on her own or else they will lose all the money they saved so hard for. Reluctantly she agrees to travel alone, knowing he wants to keep her safe.
After a long tiring flight she arrives on the Galapagos and travels onwards to the island they have chosen together, Santa Cruz, by ferry. When she arrives at her final destination she finds that their hotel is closed down. Worse still, everything is frozen in time and there are also curfews. She is trapped on this beautiful island and there are no other tourists. The pandemic has caused a total lockdown. She cannot travel home or to anywhere else, she has next to no Wi-Fi and cannot get a message back to New York City to let Finn know that she is safe. She settles down to make the most of her ‘holiday’. She gradually makes friends with the locals who are keen to help her and she loves the island, its wildlife and beauty. Her story continues in Part One and is also directly linked to Part Two. You just have to read this story to see the brilliance of Jodi Picoult and have a great time reading about Diana.
Jodi Picoult is a force to be reckoned with. Not only is she a superb storyteller, but the content of her storyboards is intelligent, charismatic and irresistible. Her research is far reaching, meticulous and totally fascinating, adding huge authenticity to her writing. I always learn something new when I read her latest novel and I am always hooked from her first few chapters and right up to the ending of her book. The development of her characters is spellbinding. She puts them into situations that concern modern issues that matter to everyone, so you are easily able to relate to what is happening. I love her stories unconditionally. There are enormous shocks to come within this novel.
I received a complimentary copy of this novel from publisher Hodder & Stoughton through my membership of NetGalley. It was sent in return for an honest and unbiased review and I would like to thank them for my copy of this excellent novel. Although it is hard to read at times, because of the content, it still pulls you in and it is so rewarding and full of hope for the future. It’s a well-deserved 4.5* review from me.
**spoilers!!** I hate reviews that include spoilers and always err on the side of caution, but the very thing I loved most about this book is the biggest spoiler of all… I found this book fascinating. I’ve read before of the phenomenon of people who have undergone a trauma resurfacing with a completely different memory of how the time had been spent. I wasn’t expecting this book to go in that direction and I was enjoying it as a story very well until… well. That twist! I will re-read this story almost immediately as I’m still completely taken by the imagery of the Galapagos- I want to know if knowing how it ends know alters my enjoyment and if there were any hints I missed along the way.
I loved the characters. All of them. Each was relatable and warm in their own way. I also found the description of Covid very believable. It almost makes the story more real as you know it’s based on truth, on a shared experience that we’ve all endured these past few years.
I always enjoy Jodi Picoult’s writing and although I think this is a departure from her usual genre, it’s an exceptionally moving piece of work and I can’t really praise it enough. Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publishers for my copy of this book.
I had an open mind when I asked to read and review #WisYouWereHere prior to publication. I always like (and sometimes love) Jodi Picoult's novels. She is prolific, as this novel which refers to the Covid-19 pandemic shows. This is about so much more than the pandemic however, It is about family, relationships, destiny and love. I am a fan!
There was a slight feeling of predictability in the first half of the book. This did not last. It really isn't what you think it is going to be (no spoilers) and the book was all the more interesting and meaningful for it.
I would love to know more about how Picoult decided on the plot - as it is so well researched and full of beautiful descriptions of the Galapagos islands. I am pretty sure she couldn't have visited during 2020. It has been added to my bucket list though, it sounds so fascinating.
As well as confidence in describing the place (New York city during the also came to life) the characters were relatable, had depth and made me care about them.
I recommend this lovely novel and hope all readers enjoy it as much as I did. I think they will!
Thanks to Netgalley et all for the chance to read this book. Covid was obviously life changing for millions of people around the world in the most heartbreaking way possible. This book however makes you smile and brings you face. There are twists and turns and this once again is a book not to be missed from the very talented Jodi.
Diana has her dream job working at Sotheby’s and her boyfriend is a resident in one of New York City’s hospitals. They’ve saved up and are counting down to their dream holiday to the Galapagos Islands. Diana accidentally found an engagement ring and guesses that Finn will propose on their dream holiday - thus making it even more special. Whilst they’re counting down for their trip, the world is counting the rising cases of the new mysterious Coronavirus as they pop across the world.
The night before they are due to fly out, Finn tells Diana that he is unable to travel as cases are increasing in New York and he has to stay and work, but he would like to know that she is safe and away from the virus in the Galapagos Islands. He assures her that by the time she comes home, the worst of the Coronavirus will be over. Diana travels to the Galapagos Islands only to find that everything has closed, she’s the only lone traveller on the island, she doesn’t speak Spanish and is forced to rely on the genorosity of the locals.
The story chronicles Diana’s lockdown experiences on the locked island. Her solitude, the difficulties in communicating with Finn back in New York, finding food, exploring the island, slowly forming relationships with locals.
The story shifts to the emergency care of hospitalised Coronavirus patients in New York. Doctors trying different drugs, moving patients to the prone position - trying anything to improve the chances of patients with a virus that people were only learning more about on a daily basis. The exhaustion and frustration healthcare workers felt.
It’s really hard to write a review for this book without any spoilers……. You just have to read it!
This is a book that should resonate with everyone. The last couple of years have been particularly hard and strange with the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic, the impact of the lockdowns on relationships and work, and for many the deaths of family and friends.
I didn’t know whether it would be too soon to read a book about Covid-19 whilst we’re still living in a socially distanced world with booster jabs and Covid passports. However, I really enjoyed the book and found it incredibly uplifting and a celebration of what it is to be human. Even though the book is not yet published, after reading the book I’ve pre-ordered books from booksellers to give as gifts for family and friends.
Huge thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for making this book available to me for a fair and honest review.
One of Jodi Picoult's best stories. She has an amazing ability to come up with stories exploring moral dilemmas; a different one every time. Covid has to be the obvious topic to explore various moral dilemmas, but Picoult's unique spin will surprise even the most sceptical of readers. Her gripping journey into the New York covid world when the pandemic was in its infancy, is clearly well-researched (as are all Picoult's books) and frightening. For a reader who has ben fortunate enough not to have been living in a country where covid was rampant, it was an eye-opener indeed.
And then there is Galapagos; protagonist Diana locked away far from Covid and her exhausted doctor husband in New York; an island escape where she is stripped of her old life and free to find a new one. Would have been idyllic in normal circumstances, but when control over when you can return home is taken away, when off-again, on-again internet doesn't allow any sensible contact with or support of the people you love, or should love, that is a whole new emotional world to negotiate.
Jodi Picoult's author notes/letter to her readers is also very moving and gave me, cocooned far away from covid, some insight about what it must really be like to be afraid to leave your house because of a pandemic.
I absolutely adored this book. I haven't read any book from Picoult before but after this one I will definitely go back for others. Beautiful descriptions, a relatable story and well constructed characters with very interesting relationships (Diana and her mother in particular). It is a must read. Although Covid might be an uncomfortable subject for many, it is included gracefully and with great sensitivity. This was a very happy surprise (for me), don't give it a miss!
Everyone is being affected by Covid 19 pandemic at present so this latest fiction read by Jodi Picoult resonated with me and touched on reality. Diana and her partner Finn are all set on a holiday of a lifetime where Diana is sure Finn is going to propose. Then the world is hit by the devastating virus and Finn is needed at the hospital to care for the endless stream of sick people.
This story is written in a brilliant way that had me invested from page one to the very last. The characters are totally believable and brought to life with care and compassion. Relationships are scrutinised and what ifs are pondered. There are of course some sad events but it is also inspirational and full of hope as there will be a brighter future ahead when this awful time has passed.
My thanks to Net Galley and publishers for the ARC digital copy of Wish You Were Here.
I was riveted by this book and found it a wonderful read. The description of Diana's enforced stay on the Galapagos island absorbed me and I liked the juxtapositioning with the trauma her husband was enduring as a Covid doctor in New York. The twist was completely and utterly unexpected and created a very thought provoking reflection.
This is an outstanding read that brilliantly reflects the realities of covid during the early stages of the pandemic when the virus was virulent and treatments were experimental, Diana and Finn were the ideal couple looking forward to their dream holiday in the Galápagos Islands when Finn backs out of the holiday at the last minute to support the covid battle at the hospital at which he is a doctor whilst he encourages Diana to go without him. She reaches the Galápagos Islands at the same time that everything shuts down and finds herself the only tourist on the island. Her experiences on there enchanted me however balanced with that were the absolutely heartbreaking emails from Finn describing the impossible battle he and his fellow doctors and nurses were facing and the overwhelming pressure of his job. Her time on the island caused Diana a lot of introspection about several of her relationships both back home and there and the reality of life back home after stunned me. This is so well researched and really gets to the core of people during the pandemic and how so many lives have been impacted and given so many pause for thought, the writing is incredibly empathetic and transports you so well to the minds and hearts of those affected.
Being a huge fan of Jodi Picoult’s book’s, I was thrilled to receive an advanced copy of Wish You Were Here. I must admit I was apprehensive when I realised it’s set during the COVID epidemic. I wasn’t sure I was ready to read about COVID. For most of us, it’s been a living nightmare that’s resulted in suffering and an overwhelming sense of fear. But I’m so glad I persevered as this book made for an incredible, poignant read.
Wish You Were Here tells the story of Diana and Finn, Finn is a surgeon in a busy New York hospital, and his girlfriend, Diana is stranded during lockdown on a Galapagos Island. The authors’ breathtaking descriptions of the scenery, people, and the wildlife transport you to the Galapagos. This offers some light relief from Finn’s story, which is hard-hitting and heartbreaking in equal measures.There are so many themes that will resonate with the reader, loss, grief, heartbreak, fear and loneliness. The two settings are worlds apart, and yet each is just as powerful.
Although COVID plays a large part in this novel, there are so many threads that make it such an exquisite read, there are heartbreaking moments, and moments that will make your heart sing. Personally I think Wish You Were Here is one of the best books Jodi Picoult has written, It’s difficult to read a book that you know is going to be emotionally turbulent, and though you will feel every emotion whilst reading this book, I think you won’t regret it. An incredible read about Human resilience in the most terrible times.
A great book. Really well written with the most unexpected twist! I really enjoyed the descriptions of the Galapagos Islands - it was a nice foil to the covid heartbreak her boyfriend was experiencing. Highly recommended.
This book has to be one of my favourite books so far. Not only has the author touched on a subject that people don’t want to read about but she tells some hard hitting truths in it. It is quite a difficult book to review without giving spoilers but it centres around Diana and her boyfriend Finn. The are due to go on the trip of a lifetime to the Galápagos Islands when Finn, a doctor, says he can’t go as there is a virus called COVID which is going to hit NYC. Diana still goes to the Islands and is instantly locked down , not able to leave the island Isabela she is on, let alone fly back to NYC. The descriptions of her time and adventures there are so vivid that you can almost feel the sunshine and the spray from the sea and lagoons. Meanwhile Finn is coping with COVID patients dying without being able to help them and the aftermath of those lucky enough to survive. The story then examines the vivid dreams people can have after being on a ventilator and in an induced coma and what these could mean. Having been in an induced coma after brain surgery, I could relate to so much of this part of the story and the rehabilitation after an awful illness. Suffice to say it is a book that will stay with me for a while and deserves every one of its 5 stars.
I am a long time fan of Jodi Picoult and this book is right up there with some of her best. Set at the beginning of the pandemic it follows Diana, on a solo trip to the Galapogos after her boyfriend Finn pulls out at the last minute to continue to work as a doctor treating Covid patients.
Diana is completely cut off from contact as soon as she arrives, finding the islands shutting up shop and hunkering down to avoid the virus. She forms tentative friendships with a handful of locals and finds a way to survive and even enjoy her time, despite being unable to contact the outside world for news.
I was wholly on board with Diana and her island adventures so when the almighty twist in the tale occurred it really took me by surprise and made me reassess everything I had read, believed and felt.
Another excellent novel!
To put it quite simply this is the best book I have read this year.
It is set during the covid pandemic and felt so real all over again as I was reading it. I live in the UK and remember when I started to hear about the virus but never ever would I have thought that it would change the way we live now.
Some of the descriptions about the Galàpagos were amazing! I felt myself sitting by the water with the penguins and sea lions. There was also a moment where I found myself having to go back a few pages to make sure I was reading what was happening correctly. I was so engrossed in the story and then BAM! The story changed direction which I didn’t see coming at all.
Jodi’s book never fail to disappoint me so thank you for being such an amazing author!
Thank you also to Netgalley and the publisher for a chance to read this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
A truly brilliant read!
I love it when a book comes along that is not only a brilliant story but sends me off to investigate and do my research on the subject raised. Jodi Picoult has written another one of her extraordinary novels – this time based on Covid-19 and how it affects those who have lived through its devastation on their bodies.
Diana O’Toole is convinced that she left her boyfriend, Finn Colson, a young doctor and travelled to Isabela Island in the Galapagos on her own because the hospital he works at refuses to let any member of staff take their leave thanks to the outbreak of Covid-19.
She spends several months on the island, exploring it with some of the locals, who have taken her under their wing as all the hotels are closed, and the only accommodation she can find is with a family. This “holiday” all comes crashing back to earth when she comes around after days in an induced coma and being on a ventilator. Diana is so weak; it takes months to recover her strength. However, the idea that she wasn’t really on the island leaves her in a state of disbelief and sorrow.
Jodi Picoult has done extensive research for this novel. Diana’s experiences during her induced coma are like others who too come back feeling that what they’ve lived through is different to what their family and doctors describe. Leaving them confused and often changed from their experiences.
I loved this book and the subject. I have a friend whose father-in-law was in an induced coma with Covid for over six weeks. He has “recovered” in that he can once again walk and talk but has lost his previous identity and abilities. I had no idea until reading “Wish You Were Here” how the doctors and nursing staff had to cope with the pandemic. Nor did I have any idea that patients put into induced comas all suffered some sort of change to their perspectives. This must-read novel.
Elite Reviewing Group received a copy of the book to review.
WISH YOU WERE HERE centres around Diana, an art associate specialist at Sotheby’s, and her boyfriend, Finn, surgical resident in NY. The pair had been saving for the last 4 years for a trip of a life time to the Galápagos Islands, but just before they are due to travel, the first cases of Covid hit the city and Finn tells Diana to go without him…
As the pandemic sweeps the globe, Diana finds herself locked down on the beautiful island of Isabela… which is where the story really begins. I can’t say anymore without adding spoilers. But … WHAT … A … STORY 💫 (mind blowing twist included 🤯)
I was totally mesmerised by everything in this book, from the fantastic art research (I’m now super curious about Toulouse Lautrec!), to the vivid, detailed descriptions and history of the Galápagos Islands (where I now want to visit 😂). It was all so fascinating!
And then… the characters - I didn’t want the book to end 😭 I absolutely loved them. @jodi is an amazing storyteller and the way she crafted and brought all the characters to life was just incredible. It was also the first book I read about covid, I found it incredibly emotional and thought provoking bringing to the forefront love, hope, grief, self discovery … and of course bravery in the face of a global pandemic. This book is going to resonate with so many! Out November @hodd
💭 Are you a Jodi Picoult fan? Is this one on your radar? 🗺
I’ve read many of Jodi Picoult’s books and so was very pleased to receive a digital copy of this one. A real page turner - I couldn’t read it quickly enough. I don’t want to say anything about the plot for fear of spoiling it. But, lots of interesting characters and it had me gripped from the beginning. Lots of research clearly went into this book. Very relevant and thought provoking. I recommend to everyone. Looking forward to Picoult’s next one already.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for the eARC of this book.
As a long-time and huge fan of Jodi Picoult, I held my breath as I awaited the download of her latest offering, ‘Wish You Were Here,’ onto my Kindle.
It is a long time since a book has held my attention to the degree that I can’t wait to turn the next page. Yes, I’ve read some reasonable books lately, but I can pick them up and put them down just as easily. Jodi Picoult rarely disappoints however, and indeed I got through this book so fast, I almost breathed it in!
Written based on recent events surrounding the pandemic, Jodi has, as usual, done a tremendous amount of research to ensure her accounts from all viewpoints are as accurate as possible, bearing in mind that this is a work of fiction.
I wasn't, however, ready for the twist, one of the most memorable I have come across, and which came somewhere around the halfway mark.
I loved the adventures of Diana ‘trapped’ in Covid lockdown on the Galapagos Islands, specifically Isabella Island. Her developing relationships with Abuela, Gabriel and Beatrix, and her adventures on the island among the Iguanas and lava rocks were fascinating, as was the email correspondence with her partner, Dr. Finn, and his first person accounts of critically ill, and dying Covid patients and the horror of the pandemic from the New York hospital where he works.
When the ‘twist’ came, I was unprepared, lost as I was in the magic of the Galapagos; at first it seemed to me that Jodi had made a major error! Surely a writer of her calibre could not possibly use such a trite plot twist as this. I can categorically say that I very nearly threw down my kindle in disgust.
However...not Jodi Picoult! I did her an injustice by even thinking she would use a plotline in such a banal and mediocre way!
I cannot say much more for fear of giving the plot away to those of you who are still lucky enough not to have read it yet! Suffice to say, as the story unravels after the twist, it is just as engrossing, just as fascinating and once again, Jodi has done her research.
I loved ‘Wish You Were Here.’ I loved that the subject matter was current; the character development was fabulous and I really found myself connecting with their emotions and experiences as they were tossed around violently in the storm that is Covid.
Read it! You won’t be disappointed!
First, many thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.
When I realised Jodi Picoult's latest would be focused on the Covid-19 Pandemic, I was hesitant at first. We are, in many ways, still living in the midst of this global tragedy and I wasn't sure I was ready to live through March 2020 again - even in the pages of a fictional tale. But about 100 pages in, I became achingly aware that I needed to do exactly that. Picoult's account of those first few days, weeks and months of the pandemic is something I once would have balked at, thinking about how I might have reacted in such a situation. But I didn't need to think - I knew. And reading a fictional take on a very real event that I lived through and am still processing, took my breath away. Page by page, Picoult forced me to carve a space within myself to really think about the absurdity and tragedy that was 2020. She made me relive my hope that it would end soon, my fear that someone I loved would catch the virus, my anguish when someone I loved did catch it and I couldn't be with them, my determination to move forward when we had to spend so many months, now over a year, staying still. I needed to read a fictionalised version of 2020 in order to process the reality. And I thank Picoult for taking such care and for approaching the events of the pandemic from a very humanist perspective. Wish You Were Here is a book I can see myself returning to in a few years' time, when the reality of 2020 starts to fade and I need to be reminded of what we went through, what we promised to change.
Jodi Picoult! I have started and dnf (did not finish) many Jodi Picoult books. This one, however, is only the second one I’ve read all the way through. When I finished it, I wanted more!
A wonderful book full of details about Galapagos and about the COVID pandemic. That’s all I’m going to say, because I don’t want to give away any spoilers about THE twist.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Hodder and Stoughton for this fantastic read.
So I was a little disappointed with the last Jodi Picoult book but with this one she is back to her amazing self and I was blown away by this story of pain and survival during the pandemic and without giving the story away this book broke my heart more times than I can mention. I loved it and I was really sad to get to the last page.
Two of my favourite books from the past decade have been by Jodi Picoult - 'The Storyteller' and 'Small Great Things'. When I was chosen to read @jodipicolut's upcoming new book 'Wish You Were Here' I was beyond thrilled. Having read over a hundred fictional books since the start of the pandemic, none have mentioned Covid directly which is, when you think about it, quite strange. The pandemic has been so life-changing for everyone but, as the poem states, even though we've all been in the same storm, we have not all been in the same boat. Covid has been an equaliser and we are very much still living through it.
@jodipicoult's book has the same profound resonance where news footage comes to life in the characterisation of Finn, a resident doctor at an NYC hospital and his girlfriend Diana. Planning to visit the Galápagos Islands to get away from it all proves tricky when the pandemic hits. Finn stays in NYC to deal with the constant onslaught of Covid patients arriving at the hospital each day. Diana leaves Finn, travelling solo to Galápagos and immersing herself in the beauty of nature; swimming with sea lions, making friends with locals and even being bitten by a penguin. This is a far cry from the emails she receives from Finn (sporadically, given the terrible WiFi) where he recounts the horrors of dealing with Covid; bodies piling up and temporary morgues set up on the street. We all know about such horrors from media coverage but Picoult writes about this with sincerity and humanity.
Switching between past and present tense, Diana enlightens us on her life pre-pandemic as an art specialist with Southebys; lusting after sealing the deal on a Toulouse-Lautrec and also her life as the daughter of a largely absent mother and now dementia sufferer, Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Hannah O'Toole.
No spoilers are given here but safe to say that this is a life-affirming, heart-warming and utterly devastating read. In her acknowledgments Picoult proves (if it were not already obvious) the extent to which she researched this, from the beauty of the Galápagos Islands to the distress of witnessing Covid and the devastation of Finn along with the rest of humanity. I cannot thank @jodipidoult, @NetGalley and @hodderbooks enough for access to a book which will stay with me for a long time.
#bookstagram #bibliophile #bookworm #book #booknerd #bookstagrammer #kindle #instabook #reader #bookobsessed #instareads #currentlyreading #bookchat #bookish #autumnreading #books #readersofinstagram #wishyouwerehere #jodipicoult #pandemic #galapagos
It took a while for me to psych myself up to start reading this. Jodie Picoult has always been a favourite of mine and I knew the sooner I started it, the sooner it would end.
I was right. As is often the case with her books I was utterly gripped from the get go and raced through the story.
It is quite something to read about the beginnings of the covid pandemic with such recent memories of it, and yet, as I read I could feel myself saying “oh yes- I forgot about that” almost as if we have globally blocked out some of the more painful parts of living through the pandemic.
I won’t let any spoilers slip through but needless to say there is a massive twist that I did not see coming, and that this is a story written with such detail and care, as well as sympathy for all those health care workers who have been through an unimaginable time. I know it was good because whilst reading it I told everyone I spoke to about what was happening in the story!
Would absolutely encourage you to read it yourself- what a treat it was to be one of the first.
what can I say? Jodi did again an amazing novel! As a Jodi fan, I was super excited to read her new book. At this point I think is no longer a question if Jodi can write a book or the writing style etc it is more about which story she decided to bring to us now! And this one is kinda different from her usual not evolving multiple POVs, court scenes etc but I still love it! The plot is very well constructed, with one plot element that can be controversial and put some readers sad/mad about it but if the reader continues to read the story sees that it makes total sense. This book makes you reflect on what you may have been through in the last almost 2 years. I think for later generations will stand as an example of what happened to a lot of people during this period.
I link my video review here: https://youtu.be/aVvZaMToPRc which i go into more detail and thoughts on this novel but I say it again Jodi did it again!
Wish you were here is such an emotional read. While Covid plays a huge part in the book, it's worth reading it because it gives so much of the true nuances of life in these times.
So many beautiful setting descriptions for the Galápagos Islands and such a heartbreaking story overall. It takes about Diana and Finn, a beautiful couple that have to go through so much while in lockdown and in the frontline of it all. Survival, loneliness, grief and, more than anything, human experiences and emotionalism.
It might be hard for some to read it but it's really with the time. The first half of the story is set in Galapagos and I could really see why the author is such a beloved storyteller.
Very grateful to the publisher for my review copy through NetGalley
COVID alert - remember all of those weird dreams that everyone had at the start of lockdown - well Jodi took those and wrote a book. This is an interesting take on the effect of the pandemic on relationships, values and lives. I don't want to give the game away but there is a massive twist - a really, really good one!
Whilst we are still stuck in our own countries it was lovely to travel to the Galapagos with the book and dream a little of freedom and other cultures.
A top read - it is COVIDy, but not too gloomy.
Please pardon the Covid-related pun, but this was simply breathtaking.
I am a HUGE fan of Jodi Picoult, she is my most well read author, and I have only ever DNF'd two of her previous novels. Her ability to craft a novel around some of the most controversial topics the world has to offer continues to astound me. When I heard this was a book about Covid, I was apprehensive, expecting to read about face masks and hand washing. I couldn't have been more wrong.
This review is difficult to write, purely because I doubt I can do it justice. Picoult has written a novel that is moving, powerful, and painfully brutal about living in a pandemic hand how it has changed the world.
The beauty surely comes from the setting, the Galapagos islands were described so articulately, I felt as if I was there. The urge to Google never left me throughout the book, but I am fascinated by the revelations Picoult weaved through the plot.
And now we come onto the plot. Gripping, tender and 'gasp out loud' moments that threw me off kilter. I loved Diana, and her story is one that will resonate with me for many months to come, of that I am certain. I adored it and the book hangover had already arrived by the time I was reading the epilogue.
I have found my new favourite Jodi Picoult novel.
When the pandemic began, what feels like so long ago now! I stated that I had no desire to read anything concerning the coronavirus pandemic. If any author could make me change my mind on that, it would be the fantastic Jodi Picoult.
This is a wonderful story and superbly written. This is unique and completely relatable to the current climate in which we are all living. This is a poignant read, which has really made me reflect on the beginning of the pandemic.
I love the characters in this book, as with all of picoult’s characters they are superbly written and easy to relate to as real people. I cannot say too much about the almighty twist that Picoult weaves effortlessly into the narrative of this book. It would give away too much of a spoiler but this has kept me hooked.
This is a book that will transport you right back to isolation and keep you gripped. As always, Picoult has written an emotional and thoughtful novel filled with themes all readers will be able to relate to.
Despite being reluctant to read a book with Covid present, this has been a book I have raced through and I have to admire Picoult for writing this while we are all living through the pandemic that is taking place.
I have many of Jodi’s books prior to this one and the standard just keeps getting better and better. This is definitely a book I will be recommending.
A must for the TBR.
Wish You Were Here - Jodie Picoult
𝐃𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐚’𝐬 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐠𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐥𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐧. 𝐒𝐡𝐞'𝐬 𝐮𝐩 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐬 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐭 𝐒𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐛𝐲'𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐥𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐆𝐚𝐥á𝐩𝐚𝐠𝐨𝐬, 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐬𝐡𝐞'𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐨𝐧 𝐛𝐨𝐲𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝, 𝐅𝐢𝐧𝐧, 𝐢𝐬 𝐠𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞.
𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐂𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐝 𝐡𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐘𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐅𝐢𝐧𝐧 𝐛𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐤𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐰𝐬: 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐥 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐬 𝐡𝐢𝐦, 𝐡𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐲. 𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐠𝐨. 𝐀𝐧𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐥𝐲, 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐬.
𝐎𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐬𝐡𝐞'𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐆𝐚𝐥á𝐩𝐚𝐠𝐨𝐬, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐬𝐡𝐮𝐭𝐬 𝐝𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐚𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐫, 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐝 - 𝐚𝐥𝐛𝐞𝐢𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐞. 𝐃𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐚 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟 𝐰𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞'𝐬 𝐚 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞.
𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐦𝐬 . . .
Just Wow! with a capital WOW!
This story was so much more than I thought it would be. It is so compelling, hugely emotive and powerful. I felt a connection I didn’t think I would to the characters, especially Diana and Beatriz.
Diana, distanced as she is from her relationship with Finn, has time to think and ruminate on its strengths and flaws. She is stripped of all the trappings of her normal life, leaving only herself. She begins to see herself clearly, and to her, everything is much more real than it has been for a long time.
‘𝐒𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞.’
This part of the story really resonated with my experience of the pandemic, being isolated, I noticed nature and I looked after myself - although I had my family with me - we felt that this time was special and we enjoyed it, untainted as we were at that stage by the shadow of Covid.
As Diana doubts her feelings and her future, the connection to the now is strong, I looked at my life and what I wanted to change and have done it.
‘𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐞 𝐬𝐰𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐈 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐮𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠. 𝐈 𝐚𝐦 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠, 𝐨𝐫 𝐢𝐟 𝐈 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐛𝐞 𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐝.’
I was totally absorbed in part one of this story, I believed it, I wanted it and then…
‘𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐞𝐞, 𝐓𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐞-𝐋𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐜 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐚𝐲, 𝐢𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮’𝐫𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠.’
Well, then bam! The story becomes something else, OMG what a huge twist, I was totally unprepared for this and it was brilliantly done, no you’re crying….!!
‘𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐛𝐞,’ 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐲𝐬, ‘𝐚 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐢𝐞.’
Simply put, this book blew me away, so much to think about, especially now. This will be on my big fat top book of the year list, just sublime!
Jodi Picoult is an auto-buy author for me; I didn't read the blurb before I chose this, so I didn't have any idea what it would be about, but I was pretty sure I would love it anyway!
Picoult describes the first few days of the pandemic, back when we didn't know what was coming, and she captures this brilliantly. We follow Diana, an Art Specialist at Sotheby's and Finn, her boyfriend and resident surgeon, through their journey and changes.
Diana visits Isabella in the Galapagos alone since Finn must work due to the pandemic. She has the most glorious six weeks in paradise, the graphic descriptions are magnificent, and her experiences are well described. But, unfortunately, the Island has been closed due to the pandemic; Diana is trapped, no longer a tourist but a resident.
The plot is unique, awe-inspiring and very real; as always, it's superbly written. Unexpectedly, it provides an excellent journey through the art world and being furloughed.
The characters are so real that I feel like they're friends I have known for years. I feel their joy, pain, traumas, and emotions as if they are my own. The depictions of their experiences and conditions, e.g. Diana's mother's dementia, is very realistic and well described. The covid thoughts and tales are also well represented and accurate to the time; it's clear a lot of research has gone into this. I loved the characters, their diversity and their experiences.
The ending was pretty much perfect for me. Although it is somewhat bittersweet, it speaks to the lessons many of us have learned through the pandemic, not least what is really important.
Overall, this is an emotionally poignant, thought-provoking novel. It looks at what it is to be human, how our best-made plans change and speak of bravery, resilience and hope. While I didn't realise that the focus would be on the global pandemic, it was an interesting take on it that chronicles how our experiences and lives have changed in so many ways thought this time.
I think this may be the best Jodi Picoult novel I have ever read. While it may feel too soon for some, especially for those who have been hospitalised or lost someone to Covid, it was timely and beautiful for me. The research has paid off, and I can't wait to purchase a physical copy for my library!
This was a great read and I couldn't put it down. I loved the first part of the book especially and there was no way I could have predicted what was going to happen!
I loved Diana as a main character and she went on a great journey in the book. She was a strong character to begin with but she grew throughout.
I really enjoyed the covid element of the book and the author wrote about it really well. There were some really inspiring moments in the book too and I enjoyed the overall message.
Thankyou for giving me the chance to read. Was very appropriate and set in the pandemic 2020. I’ve read quite a few of jodis novels and this was as good as the rest.
I've read a lot of Jodi Picoult books, so I was expecting a twist or bombshell when reading this - I can honestly say, I did not see it coming.
Set during the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Diana and doctor boyfriend Finn are about to go on holiday to the Galapagos when Covid hits Manhattan and Finn is needed. He persuades Diana to go on holiday anyway, but she becomes trapped on a small island as the world goes into lockdown.
This was an uncomfortable read at times, remembering the uncertainty of the early days of the pandemic and the horrifying news that thousands of people were dying.
I don't want to say too much about the second half of the book, but it was completely different to the first and yet both were compelling. This is a good choice for book groups.
I have read books set during the pandemic already, but I this is the first that is fully about the pandemic. I wasn’t sure I was ready to read it but who can say no to a Jodi Picoult novel?
I am so glad I read it. Picoult has an amazing ability to write about such difficult subject matters with clarity and doesn’t hide away from difficult concepts.
I will admit that part way through I wasn’t quite sure about the turn the book had taken - talk about a curveball! But stick with it as it all makes sense in the end.
The book is a triumph as it captures the chaos, fear and different perspectives of those suddenly caught up in the pandemic. It looks at isolation and loneliness, as well as the importance of taking stock and having difficult conversations.
This book will stay with me for a long time and will stand as a testament to the pandemic.
This book struck a chord with me and I think that would be the case for anyone across the globe who reads it due to the extremely poignant topics uncovered within it. I’ve read a few books recently that have had an emphasis on the Covid-19 pandemic, some of which I’ve found tacky and unrealistic, but in this book the trials and tribulations that we have all experienced in the face of the pandemic are explored tastefully and delicately.
Wish You Were Here is my first foray into Jodi Picoult and it did not disappoint - with a multi-layered plot, beautifully written characters, thought-provoking topics and an ingenious twist, it’s a truly authentic and original story that captivated me from the first page and I would highly recommend it to anyone.
Thank you NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
It goes without saying - a novel set during a pandemic might not be everyone’s cup of tea whilst we’re still very much in the midst of said pandemic. So if it’s not right for you - stay well away. There’s also some other content that readers might want to be aware, so check out at the end of my review for more information.
I went into this knowing it’s set during the Covid-19 pandemic (and Covid-19 does play a big part in it), and that there’s a huge twist in it. The first 60% of the book was beautiful, gripping and I was really there, with Diana, in the moment. The Galapagos was definitely a character in its own right. The evidence of Picoult’s amazing research is played out into full effect. I honestly couldn’t see what else she could throw at you as reader, other than Diana’s journey of self discovery.
But then the twist is revealed (I’m not going to say anymore on that!) and it was a sucker punch. Picoult raised this book to a whole new level.
I have to say that the remainder of the book didn’t have the same level of impact, but it still had me hooked as Picoult covers the impact of Covid.
This is another belter of a book. Thanks to NetGalley, the team at Hodder & Stoughton and the author for the opportunity to read this advance copy!
A really good read. Didn't know if I was going to enjoy the story as the covid virus is still very much with us but it gripped me from the beginning as most Jodie picoults novels do,it was a fantastically written story and the characters were interesting .There were lots of twists that I didn't see coming and some wonderful locations that drew you in and left you wanting more. Diana and Finn's lives are changed forever and they both see things differently as things start getting better but will they still be on the same path.
Brilliant story, not the best if you have lost a loved one through COVID as it is very tear jerking. Such a lovely read and Jodi Picoult never disappoints
This book was really enjoyable and I felt unique considering the subject matter of COVID.
As we all know covid is an awful disease and is not something that I would normally consider reading about in a fiction book while we are still living in the middle of the pandemic. However I love Jodi Picoult’s other books so I took the risk. I’m glad I did!
As always, Jodi Picoult writes beautifully rich characters and I went along on the emotional rollercoaster ride just like the main character. I felt transported to the Galapagos with her rich descriptions of the island and became invested in the stories outcome. Although the book does have some sad moments I felt that it struck a balance so that it didn’t become a depressing read. And the plot twist!
What an expertly crafted, heart-wrenching read. This is definitely a story you don’t want spoilers for, but will need time to pause and reflect as you read.
Diana, the main character, is a fabulously ‘normal’ flawed human being, with a life plan which matches that of her surgeon boyfriend Finn.
Through her eyes we see life at its most raw, the start of the pandemic, which results in her taking one of ‘their’ dream holidays, to the Galapagos alone, as Finn stays to work on the predicted start of the pandemic. Little did either of them foresee what this would bring.
The description of The Galapagos, even during a pandemic, is beautifully evocative and emotive and the characters Diana meets, Gabriel and Beatriz are well-crafted, each with their own ‘issues’ from the past, contributing to who they are.
Through Diana’s isolation on beautiful Isabela island, alongside not speaking the language and needing to survive without her luggage, we feel her loneliness and desperation to be back with Finn. She shows vulnerability whilst also developing a deeper strength.
We also glimpse, through confusing and rambling emails, what Finn is facing on the front-line back in NYC, the unanswered questions and uncertainty, the desperation, exhaustion and despair being so well scripted the feelings are almost visceral.
Diana has plenty of time to reflect on her life, the desertion by her professional photographer mother, the loss of her father and the plans she shares with Finn, alongside the new, simple life she has crafted on Isabela.
And then there is a twist, one I couldn’t see coming and which also meant I no longer had any idea where the book would take me.
Although the story resonates massively with the pandemic, a dark subject to be the main theme of the book and one many people might not be ready to read about. The human frailties and reflections make the book a real winner and made me think what really matters in your life? This is thought-provoking and insightful and will challenge your perceptions.
Picoult is a masterful story-teller and here tells a multi-layered, painfully raw story of love, loss, grief, lockdown and isolation. Make sure you read the Authors notes after the prologue, they explain the ‘why this subject and why now?’ questions.
"You can't plan your life. Because then you have a plan. Not a life."
In 2020, COVID shook everyone's life. But probably not as much as Diana's. When the world closed down for a few weeks, we all wished we had been imprisoned on an exotic island instead of our small apartments. Well, Diana had something like this.
I loved the first half of the novel: interesting plot, lovable characters, great style, I couldn't put down the book. Then a twist left me dumbfounded, and I wasn't sure if I liked how things were developing with the main character. I read on and realized that this was just the perfect way to build up the story. This book gives you so many things to contemplate: family, relationships, goals in life, forgiveness, letting go.
What I love about Jodi Picoult's books is that they are meaningful without being abstract or philosophical. There's a tangible story, and there is always an unexpected turn of events. You know it is coming but still she has a way of taking you by surprise.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an Advance Reading Copy.
Diana has all her life planned out, she has her job at Sotheby's and will soon get a promotion, she lives with Finn and he is going to propose on their upcoming holiday to the Galapagos. But, everything is about to change, as a pandemic hit the world and just like that, everything changes.
Finn works in a hospital and he is not able to take time off, as the number of people hospitalized is about to increase significantly and they need all hands on deck. However, he said to Diana that she should just go on hew own....and so she does, but on her arrival she is faced with a decision: the island is closing, so she either goes back to NY now or she stays not knowing when she will be able to depart again.
Jodi Picoult is one of my favourite writers, I always devour her books and this is no exception and there is a huge twist in the story. This is the first book I read that is set in Covid times and it is not an easy read, I felt those lives lost and the trauma we all lived through and Jodi described perfectly how we all felt (and still feel). This is a story that a few years ago would seem so far off from reality... and talks about coming to terms with having your life (and your reality) turned upside down and accepting we can't plan everything in our life.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Review - Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult #WishYouWereHere
Diana and her boyfriend Finn are supposed to take a vacation to the Galapagos at the start of March 2020. Due to a rise in virus cases, Finn, a surgeon, stays behind in New York to take care of patients and Diana goes off on her own, until she gets stranded on a remote island without phone signal, internet or money. She befriends the locals and integrates herself into the community, and it seems like the perfect place to wait out the pandemic. Until something happens that changes Diana's life entirely.
This story was a ghost from the past two years, from the start of the pandemic to modern day. It's become so commonplace that we wear masks everywhere, shower as soon as we get back from being outside, disinfect any groceries or takeaway containers that come in the house, that I've forgotten what a jarring change that was to how things used to be. It was especially strange, like an out-of-body experience to see how we all dealt with it nearly two years ago now, with the high death tolls, lack of tests and extreme caution and panic about coming into contact with the virus.
When I started the novel, I thought the story was going to be about the pandemic in remote parts of the world, but in fact, Picoult found a very unique, interesting and heartbreaking take on the situation and how to relate what Diana and Finn were going through in their own worlds. The story comes in two main parts, and I have to say, I enjoyed the first part the most, as it felt like an escape, and the second part was a jarring shock, but, in fact, by the end of the book, I felt like I had gained the most from the latter half. There comes wisdom with experience and I believe Picoult put in not only her lifetime's worth of experience into this book, but that of many, many different people. It was exactly the kind of thing I needed to read and experience from a first-person perspective to truly understand what Diana was going through, but it resonated with me so much more.
This blog tour review has been made possible thanks to Kate Keehan and Hodder and Stoughton for providing me with an Advance Reader's Copy in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for taking the time to read my review and I hope you check out the other reviews on the blog tour this week and purchase the book upon publication!
Ever since I read My Sister’s Keeper years ago, I have been a fan of Jodi Picoult books and she is an author I’d always buy the book without focussing on the blurb, but I did have my concerns about reading about the pandemic while cases are still high and the surrounding emotions are still raw. I needn’t have worried; I loved this book.
I was hooked with the opening scene with its fantastic imagery of the Diana’s father restoring the painting on the Grand Central Terminal ceiling. I knew from how Diana saw the world and her love of art I’d enjoy getting to know her better.
This novel is a tale of two halves and highlights the different experiences people had depending on the location, the depth of infection in the area and people’s reaction to it as a whole. The first chapters with Diana in the Galapagos islands were true escapism with the calm, stunning location and sense of community leaping off the page, making them a joy to read despite the climatic threat in the background. Conversely Finn’s experience trapped in New York facing the harsh realities of being on the frontline in the pandemic were heart breaking and eye opening. This novel does not shy away from the cruelty and horror of the disease which made for powerful but disturbing reading. For this reason, I think at the moment Wish You Were Here will be a marmite book - some people will love it and others who have been deeply touched by the virus will find it too close to home. In time it will gain more readers and become an important reflection on the realities of the last couple of years.
The Jodi Picoult twist came as a shock and drew me in further. It was fascinating and made me long to dig deeper, I wish I could chat more about it but that would be a huge spoiler. You’ll have to wait until you’ve read it and find like-minded people to discuss it with.
This is an emotional and powerful book with a character finding her way in unfamiliar territories and has a unique Jodi Picoult twist. Not many authors would get away with a novel based on the pandemic while it is still raging but she’s managed it with great characterisation, sensitivity and the clever use of balancing the harsh and traumatic scenes set in New York with the calmer escapism of the idyllic islands. It’s a book for my forever shelf.
Oh my days, this book! Firstly, I have to warn you that Covid is front and centre in all its devastating horror in this book so, it might be a bit too soon for some people if they have scars that are still a bit raw. Also, it's a book that it's quite important to go in as blind as you can as, well... you'll see when you get there!
With that in mind I am going to be as careful as I can be with this review. Diana is an Art specialist and has climbed quite high in the field. She is about to broker her biggest ever sale when the customer gets cold feet. There are rumours of the illness that is devastating Europe slowly coming towards them. She is also about to go on a trip of a lifetime to the Galapogos Islands with her boyfriend Finn, a hospital surgical resident, and she has a sneaky suspicion that he will propose out there.
And then Covid really hits at home. As Finn is a doctor, he is duty bound to cancel all holiday and stay and fight the disease, he tells Diana that she should go, she's be better off away from things, safer. So she does...
Isolated and lonely and stuck on an island that is shut, Diana is determined to make the best of things and connects with a local family. With scant communication back to Finn, and plenty of time on her hands, Diana starts to reflect on her life and where it is going...
Any that's all I can say. Hopefully it's not too much. I wish I could say more, I wish I could shout from the rooftops how much and why I loved this book. I was a bit unsure about Diana at first, about her loyalty, about running out on Finn. And then when I saw what she had to contend with when so got to "paradise", I though, well... you've made your bed. But then I started to get to know her better, in flashback and in the present, and I really started to gel with her.
And then things too a bit of a turn and that's all I'm saying!
It's emotional, it's beautiful. Yes there's quite a lot of description initially when Diana first gets to the island and it does go a bit slow initially but that's reflected in the beauty and pace of life and fits the narrative. The pace does ramp up in the second part, but I can't say more about that!
All in all, having read in pretty much one sitting, I declare this book another winner from an author who is now firmly cemented on my watch list. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
I love Jodi Picoult so was extremely excited to be give the chance to read this ARC. Stunning! Such a surprising read which is totally of the moment.
Beautifully written, from the first line I was truly captivated. The character of Diana seemed so totally compelling that I was hooked on her every move. The trip to the Galapagos was exquisitely described and I seriously felt like I could have been there personally. Then the book seemed to take a predictable path of Diana (already in a committed relationship) falling for the dark, rude, impossibly handsome, Gabriel. However, there is a plot twist that I did not see coming - this was as fabulous as 'My Sister's Keeper' (Picoult at her very best, IMO!). Do not miss this read!
The back story to Diana's life is so intricately woven, drawing on historical events that you will know and recognise, yet changed enough to make them fit into Diana's story plausibly. The characterisation in this book is truly a marvel to behold. Lots of tough issues as you would expect: illness, absent parents, death, Alzheimer's, grief.
This is also the book that keeps on giving! Having enjoyed every moment of the read, I round the afterword from the author to be just as surprising. The inspiration and motivation for writing this story are something to celebrate alone.
What can I say? You cannot miss this one! If you only read one Jodi Picoult novel, make it this one...but don't miss 'My Sister's Keeper,' too!
5 star read. Full review will appear in my newspaper column but certainly up to Picoult's usual standard and with a jaw-dropping location.
I had to wait a couple of days after finishing this book before writing a review, just to let all the emotions it stirs settle a little bit.
And, running the risk of being predictable, I have to say WOW!! Wish You Were Here is clever, deeply researched, highly informative, emotional, unpredictable, captivating, engrossing and I could go on.
There's an unexpected twist half way and the story takes a totally different turn from there, leaving you wondering what's true and what is not, and what if this is not real, but it's the other way round. I can't say more for fear of spoiling it, but read this book, maybe not immediately if covid is still too raw a subject to you, but add it to your TBR pile, this book must be read! I know it will stay with me for a very long time.
Thank you, THANK YOU! to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
As much as I love Jodi Picoult, I was sceptical about reading this book knowing it centered around coronavirus. But oh am I glad I did.
I was instantly addicted, not wanting to put the book down. While the story was set in the middle of the pandemic, the characters (as in all of Jodi’s novels) were so real and had trials out with this that still allowed me to escape the very real and exhausting experience of lockdown in my own life.
I adored Dianna, Abuela, And Gabriel. I felt Finns pain and it matches the real life stories I hear from those in similar roles.
I didn’t want the story to end and wanted to know more and more of what happens after.
I would definitely recommend this book.
I received an arc of this novel via Netgalley and the publisher but this has in no way influenced my review or opinion.
Thank you to Kate Keehan and Hodder for answering my begging message of my dream of being on a Jodi Picoult Tour! You made one of my dreams!! Thanks you also for my gifted proof and finished copies - they are truly beautiful and in my favourite colour to boot 😍
I’ve been reading Jodi’s writing since I was a teen! She is another of my go to authors because her writing is always so immersive!
Wish You Were Here is no different - I can always rely on Jodi for a deep but beautiful story.
This book is centred around the Covid Pandemic so consider this a trigger warning as some people may not be ready to read books about the pandemic.
Jodi has written the parts about the pandemic with such heart and conviction that I can only assume that she has spoken first hand to medical staff on the front lines (I’m pretty sure she requested to speak to these types whilst she was writing the book).
After reading Jodi’s book I feel like The Galápagos Islands is to be added to my list of destinations to see in my life. Her descriptions never fail to produce such beautiful images in my minds eye.
The books captures the strength and resilience of the human spirit but also the loneliness that can be so consuming.
Overall this is another book of Jodi’s that I will love and reread and I highly recommend it to each and every one of you (provided you are ready to read about the realities of the pandemic)
"Sometimes it feels like the whole world is holding its breath. If we don't gasp, soon, we will all pass out."
Wish You Were Here is a beautiful, heartfelt and absorbing story about resilience, hope and survival. It explores the fear and trauma of the pandemic and the limitless potential of the human mind. Moving between New York and the Galapagos, it follows Diana O’Toole as she goes on an unexpected journey of self-discovery after she finds herself stranded on Isabelle Island as the world shuts down.
Jodi Picoult is my favourite author and can be relied upon to deliver a story I will get lost in. She is a masterful storyteller who knows how to get right to my soul, but all the same I had some fears that it might be too soon for a book that focuses on the pandemic. But while Picoult doesn’t shy away from the raw, unvarnished truth of covid and the effects of the pandemic, this is a story that focuses on finding beauty in the bleakest of times and hope when things seem hopeless.
"The idea of being by yourself on a desert island has a romantic cachet to it, but the reality is less attractive."
The story takes us back to the early days of the pandemic, vividly conveying the fear, uncertainty and confusion we all felt through Diana’s eyes. It brought back that terror at seeing how things escalated so quickly, that cheerful optimism that it would all be done within a matter of weeks, and the reality that it has changed every one of us forever. I liked that she offered us two very different experiences of the pandemic: Diana stranded alone in paradise, learning how to survive in a place she doesn’t know or speak the language, and Finn’s emails from the front lines in a New York hospital as he helplessly watches hundreds of patients die and works himself to the bone. Both characters are filled with fear, loneliness and desperation but in different ways, which Picoult expertly explores. But at its heart this is a story about self-reflection and self-discovery. About how no matter the plans we make, life will happen, sometimes taking us in the most unexpected directions.
Mesmerising, soulful and thought-provoking, Wish You Were Here is an absolute masterpiece. Ms. Picoult has outdone herself, creating one of her best and most moving stories to date.
NG Note: There are parts of sentences missing or paragraphs are the wrong way around and end or start halfway through a sentence. This happens mostly in the emails from Finn. While it doesn’t distract too much from the story, it is frustrating.
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