Monday 22 November 2021

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult #WishYouWereHere @jodipicoult @HodderBooks #BookReview #Giveaway #Prize #Win #Competition


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 Galápagos 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 Galápagos, 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 . . .

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult is published in hardback on 25 November 2021 by Hodder. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

I'm delighted to offer one hardback copy as a giveaway prize. Entry is simple, just fill out the competition widget on this blog post. UK entries only. 

Good Luck!

What an extraordinary novel this is!  I know many people do not want to read about Coronavirus, they don't want to read stories set during the pandemic, or that actually deal with the pandemic. Wish You Were Here is both of those things, but done with such empathy and grace and beauty that I was moved to tears on more than one occasion.

Diana and Finn are a regular New York couple who have a life plan. They will advance through their career paths, she works at Sothebys, selling art, whilst Finn is a medical doctor. They will buy the perfect house and have the perfect family. So far, everything is going to plan. They have the holiday of a lifetime planned; all booked and paid for. A trip to the beautiful Galápagos where they will explore, spend time together and relax.

It is March 2020, and it soon becomes clear that the talk of a virus in China is much more than rumour. People are falling ill really quickly, it's so contagious, people are dying. Finn must stay in New York and care for his patients, but urges Diana to travel on her own and take the holiday.

As Diana arrives, the island shuts down and she is stranded. She has no suitcase, there's no phone signal and she doesn't speak Spanish. She misses Finn and is frantic. As the days pass, Diana becomes more of a local than a tourist. She's given a room by a local woman, she begins to make friends; some closer than others and barters her skills as an artist in return for food and clothing. It's an idyllic place, but she is haunted by the occasional emails that get through from Finn; his description of his current life and the devastation caused by COVID are frightening and she feels guilt and sorrow. 

Then, part two begins and the story turns into something else completely. What an incredibly clever author Picoult is, I was totally knocked for six by the structure and the sudden realisation, along with Diana, that everything really is not what it seems. 

That's as much as I can say about where the story goes, to say anything at all more than this would utterly spoil the reading experience. What I can say is that Jodi Picoult has quite obviously done hours of research and talked to a lot of people to create this story. It's a novel that makes the reader think about life, and what is important. It's eye opening, and emotional and unique. I've never read anything quite like this. Superb and highly recommended. 

One hardback copy of Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is the author of 25 novels, with 40 million copies sold worldwide.

Her last twelve books have debuted at No.1 on the New York Times bestseller list, including her most recent, The Book of Two Ways.
Five novels have been made into movies and Between The Lines (co-written with daughter Samantha van Leer) has been adapted as a musical.
She is the recipient of multiple awards, including the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction, the Alex Award from the YA Library Services Association, and the NH Literary Award for Outstanding Literary Merit.
She is also the co-librettist for the musical Breathe, an the upcoming musical The Book Thief.
She lives in New Hampshire with her husband. 

Twitter @jodipicoult

Instagram @jodipicoult

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