A Poignant Story of Love, Loss and Resilience
Diana O’Toole and her boyfriend are planning a romantic vacation to the Galapagos. They both live in NYC where she works as an art associate for Sotheby’s and her boyfriend, Finn is a surgical resident.
When Covid hits NYC on the eve of their departure Finn is called back to the hospital, his leave has been cancelled. He assures Diana that she should still take the trip since all their deposits were non-refundable. Reluctantly, Diana agrees to take the trip without him.
But when Diana gets to the Galapagos, the pandemic is hitting the shores there as well. All borders, flights and ferry’s are cancelled. Her luggage is lost, the hotel where she is booked is shut down, and she has no cellular or Wi-Fi service. The entire island is in quarantined. Isolated, Diana carves out a relationship with a local family who agrees to give her shelter.
Diana become resilient and spends her time exploring the island and examining her relationships, her career and her choices.
WISH YOU WERE HERE is a highly recommended reading experience. I was initially hesitant about reading a story of COVID. After all, we are currently living through it. But the story is about so much more than Covid. It’s about love, loss, resilience, and finding joy and happiness in relationships, and the choices you must sometimes make that forever change your life. Netflix has recently acquired the rights to WISH YOU WERE HERE with plans to make it into a feature film.
The story is intriguing, captivating and well-researched. The writing is cleverly layered, emotionally strong and full of vivid descriptions. Author Jodi Picoult has woven a unique tale capturing the flora and fauna of the Galapagos Island as seen by Diana and contrasts it with the emotional intensity of Finn’s experience working night and day in a COVID ICU unit. Picoult has plenty of tricks up her sleeve in this unforgettable story. You don’t want to miss it!
Picoult has written 27 novels with each one skillfully written and tackling emotionally intense subject matter. Picoult states that this particular book was totally unplanned, but during the darkness of the pandemic and the quarantine Picoult was able to fashioned a book of lightness and exploration. Picoult’s most recent bestsellers include The Book of Two Ways and A Spark of Light.
Thanks to Netgalley and Ballantine for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher Random House Publishing / Ballantine
Published November 30, 2021