Posted in Reviews

Review of Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

*****5 stars

I’ve read a few of Jodi Picoult’s books, and I think this is one of her best. Diana an art dealer turning 30 who has the rest of her life planned, or at least she thinks so until the COVID-19 pandemic strikes, and her boyfriend Finn, a resident at a New York City hospital, is unable to accompany her on their long anticipated trip to the Galapagos islands. Diana believes he was about to pop the question on their vacation, but she agrees to go by herself when he convinces her it would be safer. That decision turns out to be unwise because, once on the island which is locked down, she has no way to return and can’t contact Finn because of weak and unstable WiFi. The hotel she booked is closed, and her bags were lost on her flight. Luckily, she’s befriended by a woman who allows her to stay in part of her house. She later learns the apartment belongs to a man with a teenage daughter in need of help.

After Diana meets the man, Gabriel, a previous tour guide, and his daughter, and spends time with them and the island residents, she attempts to contact Finn and her mother, who suffers from Alzheimers and is in a nursing home. She reaches them, but the connection is short and erratic.

With detailed descriptions of the wildlife and habitats of the Galapagos including an inactive volcano, this absorbing story comes to life. As Diana becomes emotionally attached to Gabriel and the island, her perspective about life begins to change.

About midway in the book, there’s a twist I didn’t see coming. Picoult realistically portrayed several serious themes including mental illness, Alzheimer’s Disease, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Her author notes at the back of the book also gave insight into how she was inspired to write it and her own experience during the pandemic. I highly recommend this read that Picoult’s fans will gobble up and new readers will find totally absorbing.

This review was from the NetGalley ARC. The book will be released on November 30, 2021.

Author:

I'm a librarian at a public library and author of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series and other novels, short stories, articles, and a novella. My books include CLOUDY RAINBOW, REASON TO DIE, and the 5 books of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series: A STONE'S THROW, BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, WRITTEN IN STONE, LOVE ON THE ROCKS, and NO GRAVESTONE UNTURNED. I've also written a romantic comedy novella, WHEN JACK TRUMPS ACE, and short stories of various genres published as eBooks by Solstice Publishing and in anthologies published by the Red Penguin Collection. My standalone psychological thriller, SEA SCOPE, and my medical mystery, MEMORY MAKERS, are published by NEXT CHAPTER PUBLISHING who has also published my latest book, the time-travel thriller, TIMES RELATIVE. My non-fiction cat book, PET POSTS: THE CAT CHATS, features blog posts and articles "written" by 2 of my current cats and 2 previous ones about feline health and behavior issues told from a cats' point of view. I have also completed the first book of a new cozy series, THE CASE OF THE CAT CRAZY LADY, Buttercup Bend Mystery #1, for which I am currently seeking representation. I am a member of Sisters-in-Crime, Long Island Authors Group, International Thriller Writers, and the Cat Writers' Association. I live on Long Island with my husband, daughter, and 3 cats.

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