After waiting a bit to recover from the stress, I was finally ready to dive in to a novel set during the Covid outbreak. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed where Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult took me! Diana is almost 30 years old and is hoping to get engaged when she and her medical resident boyfriend go on their upcoming romantic vacation to the islands. Unfortunately he is forced to stay back home to tend to patients fighting the rapidly spreading virus, and the trip is nonrefundable, so reluctantly she ventures to the Galapagos alone. Once she arrives, Diana is faced with a drastic turn of events…COVID has shut everything down. With lost luggage, no money, no open hotels or restaurants, spotty wifi and no way back home, Diana struggles with feelings of fear and isolation while making the effort to connect with the Spanish speaking people and the incredible beauty she is surrounded by.
Due to the kindness of strangers, Diana finds a place to sleep and is befriended by an English speaking tour guide and his daughter. She worries about her boyfriend who is fighting on the front lines. With limited service, she has trouble communicating with him, and to pass the time she does touristy things like snorkeling and exploring the beautiful island. The emotions Wish You Were Here invokes were overwhelming for me as I relived the fear and desperation of the world faced with the deadly virus while at the same time became enchanted with the natural beauty of the Galapagos and the island people. I always enjoy Jodi Picoult’s storytelling and this story is one of a kind where the setting could easily be conjured up in my mind and the emotions felt deep to the core. If you are ready to re-live the fears brought on by the pandemic in this fictional story, I recommend reading Wish You Were Here!
About the Author:
Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-eight novels, including Wish You Were Here, 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’s books have been translated into thirty-four languages in thirty-five countries. Four novels – The Pact, Plain Truth, The Tenth Circle, and Salem Falls – have been made into television movies. My Sister’s Keeper was a film released from New Line Cinema, with Nick Cassavetes directing and Cameron Diaz starring. SMALL GREAT THINGS has been optioned for motion picture adaptation by Amblin Entertainment and is set to star Viola Davis and Julia Roberts. Picoult’s two Young Adult novels, Between The Lines and Off The Page, co-written with her daughter Samantha Van Leer, have been adapted and developed by the authors into a musical entitled Between The Lines which had its world premiere in September 2017 at the Kansas City Repertory Theater and is expected to premiere Off-Broadway in Summer 2019.
Picoult is the recipient of many awards, including the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction, the Alex Awards from the YALSA, a lifetime achievement award for mainstream fiction from the Romance Writers of America, the NH Literary Award for Outstanding Literary Merit and the Sarah Josepha Hale Award. She holds honorary doctor of letters degrees from Dartmouth College and the University of New Haven.
Picoult is the recipient of many awards, including the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction, the Alex Awards from the YALSA, a lifetime achievement award for mainstream fiction from the Romance Writers of America, and the NH Literary Award for Outstanding Literary Merit. She holds honorary doctor of letters degrees from Dartmouth College and the University of New Haven. She is also a member of the advisory board for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.
Picoult lives in New Hampshire with her husband. They have three children.