Jodi Picoult is that author that I don’t even read the blurb of a story for I already know I’m going to love it and preorder it as soon as possible. With Wish You Were Here, not only have I preordered it, I also got an advanced reading copy from the publishers which I was ridiculously excited about. However, as suggested I actually had no idea what it was about so let me tell you…
Diana O’Toole has her dream career working as an art specialist at Sotheby’s and she has just gotten an account which is bound to get her promoted. Everything is going so well, except for the fact it is Spring 2020 and the world is about to be hit with a pandemic that it was totally unprepared for and the account is paused. To make things worse, Diana and her boyfriend Finn are about to go on a holiday go a lifetime to the Galapagos where she is fairly certain he is going to propose, but, he’s a doctor and they’re in New York City and he isn’t allowed to leave work right now. Faced with the conundrum of losing the money for the holiday and staying in New York, or going on the trip alone, Finn encourages Diana to go alone and be safe outside of the city.
She lands in paradise to find that even paradise is impacted by the pandemic and the island is shutdown. Luckily, a local; abuela, takes pity on Diana and gives her an apartment to stay in. However, life on a remote desert island, alone, with no phone signal and nothing much to do isn’t the paradise she expected. But as the days go on Diana starts to build relationships and question whether her life back at home is really what she wants or if it is just what she thinks she wants.
As per usual, Picoult’s writing is intriguing and easy (although The Book of Two Ways is an exception to the easy bit), but I wasn’t prepared to dive into the world of COVID when actually we are still living in the aftermath.
WARNING SPOILERS COMING
I also just do not know how I feel about the whole ‘it was only a dream’ scenario. Although I have absolutely NO DOUBT at all that Picoult did ample research into the topic; I didn’t read the acknowledgments but I’m assuming the research stories that Diana read were actual real life accounts. I think it’s also because I loved the characters on the Galapagos so much I didn’t want them to not be real; I appreciate the ending leaves it open as a possibility they were real. I don’t know. It was maybe just too soon for me. I still love her though, fully appreciate her ability to write thought provoking stories and will definitely be just as eager to read her next book!