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Wish You Were Here
Cover of Wish You Were Here
Wish You Were Here
A Novel
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Small Great Things and The Book of Two Ways comes “a powerfully evocative story of resilience and the triumph of the human...
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Small Great Things and The Book of Two Ways comes “a powerfully evocative story of resilience and the triumph of the human...
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  • #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Small Great Things and The Book of Two Ways comes “a powerfully evocative story of resilience and the triumph of the human spirit” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & The Six)
    Rights sold to Netflix for adaptation as a feature film • Named one of the best books of the year by She Reads
    Diana O’Toole is perfectly on track. She will be married by thirty, done having kids by thirty-five, and move out to the New York City suburbs, all while climbing the professional ladder in the cutthroat art auction world. She’s an associate specialist at Sotheby’s now, but her boss has hinted at a promotion if she can close a deal with a high-profile client. She’s not engaged just yet, but she knows her boyfriend, Finn, a surgical resident, is about to propose on their romantic getaway to the Galápagos—days before her thirtieth birthday. Right on time.
    But then a virus that felt worlds away has appeared in the city, and on the eve of their departure, Finn breaks the news: It’s all hands on deck at the hospital. He has to stay behind. You should still go, he assures her, since it would be a shame for all of their nonrefundable trip to go to waste. And so, reluctantly, she goes.
    Almost immediately, Diana’s dream vacation goes awry. Her luggage is lost, the Wi-Fi is nearly nonexistent, and the hotel they’d booked is shut down due to the pandemic. In fact, the whole island is now under quarantine, and she is stranded until the borders reopen. Completely isolated, she must venture beyond her comfort zone. Slowly, she carves out a connection with a local family when a teenager with a secret opens up to Diana, despite her father’s suspicion of outsiders.
    In the Galápagos Islands, where Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection was formed, Diana finds herself examining her relationships, her choices, and herself—and wondering if when she goes home, she too will have evolved into someone completely different.

About the Author-

  • Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-seven novels, including The Book of Two Ways, A Spark of Light, Small Great Things, Leaving Time, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, and My Sister's Keeper, and, with daughter Samantha van Leer, two young adult novels, Between the Lines and Off the Page. Picoult lives in New Hampshire.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 27, 2021
    Picoult’s beguiling page-turner revisits the premise of two alternate worlds, as explored in 2020’s The Book of Two Ways, this time with the Covid-19 pandemic as a backdrop. It’s March 13, 2020, in New York City, the day after Broadway theaters shut down because of a new contagious virus. Diana O’Toole, an associate specialist with Sotheby’s, is on the verge of closing a career-changing deal and expecting her boyfriend, Finn, to propose. But Finn, a surgeon, has just been informed he cannot take their planned Galápagos Islands vacation because the hospital needs all hands on deck for the predicted inundation of virus-infected patients. One couldn’t ask for more opposite places: the isolated Pacific Ocean islands with native iguanas, prehistoric turtles, and exotic flora and fauna, and the grim world of packed ICU wards, staff burnout, and the debilitating reality of an onslaught of deaths that cannot be stopped or prevented. In the Galápagos, Diana befriends a teenage girl, begins an affair with the girl’s father, and second-guesses her conformist, status-oriented life plans. While a major plot twist feels both contrived and implausible, it serves to examine how catastrophes can strain the characters’ relationships while time apart can inspire complex soul-searching. As always, Picoult is eminently readable, though even the author’s fans will find some of this wanting.

  • Booklist

    September 15, 2021
    Picoult, a best-selling novelist always attuned to the zeitgeist, takes on the COVID-19 pandemic in this powerful novel. In March 2020, art specialist Diana O'Toole is on the cusp of selling a major painting for Sotheby's and getting engaged to her caring, handsome surgeon boyfriend, Finn. They have plane tickets to the Gal�pagos Islands, but when Finn's work at the hospital prevents him from leaving, he urges Diana to take the trip on her own. Diana arrives on Isabela Island just as it and the rest of the world closes down. Stranded, she is taken in by a kindly older woman and befriends a troubled 15-year-old, Beatriz, who is grappling with abandonment issues that Diana can relate to: both women's mothers walked away when they were children. Cut off from Finn save for emails he sends detailing the horrors he's enduring in the hospital as COVID-19 ravages New York, Diana grows ever closer to Beatriz and the teenager's handsome father, Gabriel. She also begins to question whether the goalposts she's set for herself still represent the direction she wants her life to take. Stealthily surprising and very moving, Picoult's latest, written while she was confined at home during the pandemic, taps into the trauma and uncertainty of 2020's global crisis. Absolutely a must-read.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Picoult's novels are always sure-bets for popular fiction readers, but she attains new heights in this keen and vivid pandemic drama.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Kirkus

    February 1, 2022
    A young woman finds herself at a Covid-induced crossroads in Picoult's latest ultratopical novel. Sotheby's associate Diana O'Toole, age 29, and her surgical resident boyfriend, Finn, are planning a trip to the Galapagos in March 2020. But as New York City shuts down, Finn is called to do battle against Covid-19 in his hospital's ICU and ER, while Diana, at his urging, travels to the archipelago alone. She arrives on Isabela Island just as quarantine descends and elects to stay, though her luggage was lost, her hotel is shuttered, and her Spanish is "limited." What follows is the meticulously researched depiction Picoult readers have come to expect, of the flora and fauna of this island and both its paradisiacal and dangerous aspects. Beautiful lagoons hide riptides, spectacular volcanic vistas conceal deep pits--and penguins bite! A hotel employee known only as Abuela gives Diana shelter at her home. Luckily, Abuela's grandson Gabriel, a former tour guide, speaks flawless English, as does his troubled daughter, Beatriz, 14, who was attending school off-island when the pandemic forced her back home. Beatriz and Diana bond over their distant and withholding mothers: Diana's is a world-famous photographer now consigned to a memory care facility with early-onset Alzheimer's, while Beatriz's ran off with a somewhat less famous photographer. Despite patchy cellphone signals and Wi-Fi, emails from Finn break through, describing, also in Picoult's spare-no-detail starkness, the horrors of his long shifts as the virus wreaks its variegated havoc and the cases and death toll mount. Diana is venturing into romantically and literally treacherous waters when Picoult yanks this novel off life-support by resorting to a flagrantly hackneyed plot device. Somehow, though, it works, thanks again to that penchant for grounding every fictional scenario in thoroughly documented fact. Throughout, we are treated to pithy if rather self-evident thematic underscoring, e.g. "You can't plan your life....Because then you have a plan. Not a life." Warning: Between lurid scenes of plague and paradise, whiplash may ensue.

    COPYRIGHT(2022) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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