Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult Book Summary
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Small Great Things and The Book of Two Ways comes “a powerfully evocative story of resilience and the triumph of the human spirit” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & The Six)
Rights sold to Netflix for adaptation as a feature film • Named one of the best books of the year by She Reads
Diana O’Toole is perfectly on track. She will be married by thirty, done having kids by thirty-five, and move out to the New York City suburbs, all while climbing the professional ladder in the cutthroat art auction world. She’s an associate specialist at Sotheby’s now, but her boss has hinted at a promotion if she can close a deal with a high-profile client. She’s not engaged just yet, but she knows her boyfriend, Finn, a surgical resident, is about to propose on their romantic getaway to the Galápagos—days before her thirtieth birthday. Right on time.
But then a virus that felt worlds away has appeared in the city, and on the eve of their departure, Finn breaks the news: It’s all hands on deck at the hospital. He has to stay behind. You should still go, he assures her, since it would be a shame for all of their nonrefundable trip to go to waste. And so, reluctantly, she goes.
Almost immediately, Diana’s dream vacation goes awry. Her luggage is lost, the Wi-Fi is nearly nonexistent, and the hotel they’d booked is shut down due to the pandemic. In fact, the whole island is now under quarantine, and she is stranded until the borders reopen. Completely isolated, she must venture beyond her comfort zone. Slowly, she carves out a connection with a local family when a teenager with a secret opens up to Diana, despite her father’s suspicion of outsiders.
In the Galápagos Islands, where Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection was formed, Diana finds herself examining her relationships, her choices, and herself—and wondering if when she goes home, she too will have evolved into someone completely different.
Wish You Were Here (Jodi Picoult) Book Reviews
Great twistLoved this book. Such an unexpected twist. Excellent portrayal of NYC during the pandemic. Tugged at my heart as I lived through it. Equally great description of the other location, the Galapagos. Well drawn characters..Millie d1Score: 4/5
OutstandingAbsolutely well written. Great story line. Wonderful, well developed characters. The only downfall was the ending. I felt it was unfinished. Waiting for the next book…….PaddyCake1Score: 5/5
Not up to parEnjoyed the first half, but the second not so much..FluffrScore: 3/5
Surprised me!..MelodyveScore: 5/5
LovedAmazing. Eye opener.Celene narvaexScore: 5/5
Give this one a hard passI’ve loved prior novels. As a healthcare worker, had I known where this was going I most definitely would have passed..Magskm101Score: 1/5
EhNot her best work.SWAppReviewsScore: 3/5
A year in our life, so farI wasn’t sure I was ready to read about Covid, but the book is so well written ! I hope people will read it for years to come, so we don’t forget , and hopefully learn from it!.NC Carol7Score: 5/5
An absolute must read!This is one of those far and few between books that I feel deserves as many stars as possible. It was absolutely breathtaking and beautiful and also had that mystery element that made it just absolutely gripping in all the ways. To be completely transparent I delayed starting this book for a hot minute. I did NOT want to read a book that was going to take me through the pandemic and make me internally cringe but I took a deep breath and began. And read and read and read and maybe cried a second and then kept reading. I even paused at about 95% because I wanted to reflect on all the brilliance I just read and I didn’t want it to finish. But I did finish and I would read it again in a heartbeat. There are no spoilers to give - do not hunt them do not seek more about this story - just read it!! It’s different it resonates with all humans and it just fills your soul so good. Absolute win of a book!.LulustinsonScore: 5/5
Another great book by Jodi PicoultJodi Picoult is back on track! I didn’t think her last book, The Book of Two Ways, was up to her usual level of writing. But Wish You a Were Here is up to par with her other books. This a story of Diana O’Toole (an employee at Sotheby’s) and her boyfriend, Finn Coulson (a surgical resident). They are planning a trip to the Galapagos when the COVID pandemic hits. Finn is needed to work caring for the COVID patients at the hospital, so he convinces Diana to go on the trip anyways. Just as she arrives in the Galapagos, everything is closing down for quarantine due to the pandemic. Her hotel is closed, her luggage is lost, and there is rarely any WiFi to try to communicate with Finn. Luckily, Diana is able to make friends with several residents on the island who provide shelter and food for her. The tour company is closed, but her friends take her to some of the must-see locations. The descriptions of these areas are wonderful. Ms. Picoult also does a great job of relating the multitude of emotions everyone is feeling due to the pandemic, including Finn’s struggles working long hours caring for the COVID patients. I don’t want to tell any more about the story because I don’t want to spoil it. But if you liked Jodi Picoult’s previous books, this is a must read. Thank you for the ARC..GeeBee1951Score: 4/5
Wish You Were HERENot one of her best. This book did not keep my interest at all..DeniseK.Score: 2/5
Very RetrospectiveThis book is not about Covid like a person would assume. It’s really a story about connecting on all of our human experiences during the pandemic and how this can give you a different perspective on your past, current and future lives..AdadaleScore: 5/5
Really slowThis book is really slow and too much talk about COVID. By far my least favorite JP book.NDursoScore: 1/5
Best book I’ve read in a long time!!I’ve always been a huge Jodi Picoult fan. I think this is one of her best. Maybe because it’s so relative to the times, maybe because it reminds us how fat we have come, or maybe it’s a reminder of what”s important in life…follow your heart! Thanks Jodi!.EamdpScore: 5/5
Not the actual book! (Sample)I found out the sample that I read was not the actual book not sure if those that purchased the book got the actual book or not.Chrystal Rose.Score: 1/5
Spoiler alertAre we not talking about the the knucklehead who gave away the plot twist in his/her review??? Despite his/herstupidity, I am reading the book and so far is enjoyable..AGRekoScore: 3/5
Wish You Were ThereI somewhat enjoyed the book. I was thrown for a loop when I learned she had Covid-19 and had been in a coma for 10 days. That was a great twist towards the end. There were some parts of the story that dragged regarding her career at Sotheby’s. When she wrote about her one client I felt bored and could wait to get past that section. I had to force myself to get past certain sections. I enjoyed all the vivid details regarding the Galápagos Islands and the connections with the other characters..PrettyirisheyesScore: 3/5
Loved it.Well done, Picoult!.CrewpScore: 5/5
Loved this book!Excellent book!! Very thought provoking…..PotyigfryScore: 5/5
Wow!!!!Loved how this book captured the feelings of patients first responders survivors. Left me with so much to think about. Maybe I’ll leave my husband after 63 years lol.NoisywifeScore: 4/5
BoldI’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews on this one. So let me start of by saying if you are sensitive to the current pandemic in any way this may not be the read for you. I enjoyed this read. I was a little weary about the fact that I was reading a book about the current state the world seems to be in currently and wasn’t sure if I’d end up enjoying it since it can be a heavy and controversial topic. But I feel Jodi did a great job with sticking to facts and not full out opinionated the story. I will say for me the part that got me was the huge twist at the second half that I didn’t see coming maybe because I didn’t put enough thought into it before hand. But I felt it was perfect for the story to keep the reader engaged. I was a little sad at the abrupt ending because I feel like I needed a little more since it left a huge question of, was it who it led us to believe it was or not. Overall I think it took some guts writing about a current issue that’s taken the world by storm and doesn’t seem to be letting go any time soon..NabbkaylaScore: 4/5
PhenomenalThere are a million reasons why Jodi Picoult is my favorite author, and this incredible book that she wrote during and about the pandemic exemplifies them all. Wish You Were Here takes us directly to the epicenter of 2020–New York City—in this gripping story that delves deep into that time; the isolation, the dread, the loss, the disconnect, and how everything about this time changed our lives in a million different ways. As only she can, she took me to places and ideas that were unexpected and profound, feeling a myriad of emotions deep inside my soul. I found myself rereading passages that took my breath away, unable to move on until I absorbed the passion and sentiments expressed by her beautiful prose. This might be a difficult book for some to read, because we have all been affected by the pandemic somehow. But be assured that this book was written with compassion and wisdom, warmth and humanity, honesty and vulnerability. I was sad to come to the end of this book, I felt such an integral part of the characters’ lives as they grappled with the tragedy in which they were living, but I finished feeling whole, and healed, and hopeful, not just for Diana, but for all of us..Fuzzyhead1177Score: 5/5
Will I stillOne of those books you finish and have no idea what you feel toward it. I think I loved it in a way… but will I tomorrow?.WhitmbenScore: 4/5
Wish You Were Here….In the Galápagos Islands, where Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection was formed, Diana finds herself examining her relationships, her choices, and herself—and wondering if when she goes home, she too will have evolved into someone completely different. Thank you NetGalley and Jodi Picoult for this eARC. Jodi, Jodi, Jodi how you love to break my heart! No spoilers. I will say that reading about Covid and reliving March 2020 was both sad and interesting. I remember what I was doing the day the world stopped turning and how the next several months changed all of us. I loved the descriptive story telling and main character Diana so much! Fantastic story and characters. This is a must read for any Jodi fan!.JuliaGuliaHuliaScore: 5/5
Awesome bookLove this book! The ending not so much, but still can’t wait until her next book.AprilcorderScore: 5/5
Disappointed…Super disappointed with this book. Didn’t want to read a book that had a political agenda. I won’t be reading any more books by this author..NclovestoreadScore: 2/5
A beautiful, haunting story! A must read!It’s early 2020 and Covid is beginning to menace New York City. Diana, an associate at Sotheby’s and her partner Finn, a surgical resident, are about to leave for a long planned trip to the Galapagos Islands. She’s sure a proposal is part of Finn’s plans. The night before they are to leave, all hospital time off is cancelled. Finn tells Diana to take the trip of their dreams alone. She does. She arrives in the Galapagos only to find the island is closing for two weeks because of Covid. She rashly decides to stay. What happens next, in New York and the Galapagos Islands, will change her life. That’s all that can be said without spoilers. Read this book. It’s the most beautiful, haunting story that will make you think about what is really important in life. The characters, especially Diana, Gabriel and Beatriz, are unforgettable. This is Jodi Picoult at her best. Look forward to seeing it at the top of the best seller list. All the stars in the sky or 5 because that’s all I can give. Thank you to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine and Jodi Picoult for this ARC..KHHSCScore: 5/5
Wish you were hereI enjoyed it until you made it political..Awesomeness injusticeScore: 1/5
I only read this because I paid for itOne review said the book had very little to with Covid. Sadly that wasn’t true in my estimation. I think at least half or two-thirds of this book is about Covid. I understand that many were affected by Covid, personally they got sick or knew someone that got sick and died. But we are all still living this nightmare, and I’ve taken to reading about three books a week to deal with the isolation and the lost freedoms. So reading about Covid was not something I wanted to do. Half of the storyline is entertaining and thought provoking. The half I could read about in the “news”, which I avoid….KatmegamesScore: 2/5
My Favorite Picoult!This is the first COVID-19 fiction I’ve read by a major novelist and it rang so true that I felt as if I were living through the early days of the virus in America. But there’s so much more to this addictive story! Picoult had a near miss with COVID herself; all guests at the same wedding table contracted it except her. Her children and their partners later became ill, fortunately with mild symptoms. She also did in-depth research that adds layers of convincing authenticity to the electric narrative. Now to the story. What if you were a nearly betrothed couple with a trip planned to Galápagos just as Covid-19 engulfs NYC? Diana is an associate specialist at Sotheby’s. When she visits the home of a Yoko Ono-based character who wants to sell a fantastic Toulouse-Lautrec painting, we see it as thrillingly as she does: “I couldn’t tear my eyes from it …. The smudges of color at the edges of the frame became crisper in the middle, where the lovers were depicted. Clearest of all were their eyes, riveted on each other. Suddenly I was there, in the way that art can make you time-travel: I could imagine the painter, mixing his palette; could smell the attar of roses on the bedsheets; could hear the thumps of the prostitutes entertaining their clients in the rooms on either side.” Lush descriptions such as these are the reason I read and review. Just as a master painter created this art, a masterful writer brings it to us in full glory. Oh, how I felt I was right beside her, transported as she was! Diana’s vacation with partner Finn is scheduled right after this when Covid strikes. He’s a surgical resident who must stay in the city for work, and sends Diana alone on their planned vacation, thinking it would be safer away. And with the same painterly details, Picoult shows us Galápagos and the islands soon on lockdown. We feel Diana’s angst at being so alone (all businesses were closed) and her fear when she can’t get cell service to Finn. We feel her relief at finally connecting with other islanders, especially one gorgeous man, and experience her sense of being in tropical Heaven, more herself than ever. When she is whooshed back to NYC, I literally gasped. I won’t add spoilers; just know it’s a plot twist that really works. I haven’t written a review this long in ages. It reflects my absolute love for this story and this writer. With nearly 30 books under her belt, she keeps getting better. How? Genius! Pub Date 30 Nov 2021 #WishYouWereHere #NetGalley Thanks to the author, Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine..Livre AmourScore: 5/5
Great examination of what mattersThank you for this wonderful book. I didn’t see the twist coming and it made the book even better..K.schoffScore: 5/5
Where were you on March 13, 2020?March 13, 2020 - WHERE WERE YOU? Thank you @randomhouse @prha for the complimentary copy. 11 hours 48 minutes Jodi Picoult Wish You Were Here tackles COVID-19 and how a couple in NYC experience the pandemic in very different ways. She has realistically captured the emotions, the isolation and the reality of surviving the virus. Their choices will haunt your every thought and give you hope for the human spirit. OH BOY I have a book hangover. And, don't skip the authors notes. She shares not only her personal struggles during the lockdown but her research into developing the storyline..ShannKLScore: 5/5
MehThis book was exhausting to read, dry story line- I couldn’t even finish it.Whatcha say its crap?Score: 2/5
An excellent read that will one day be considered historical…A Surprising twist catches you completely off guard & makes you realize how well researched her books always are!.305SanScore: 5/5
Wish You Were HereI was sorely disappointed in the singular theme of meeting the never-ending emotional needs of the narcissistic main character. The storyline dragged on & on & on..Appropriate AbbyScore: 2/5
Good plot twistI was not expecting the plot twist in the middle. Well done. Despite the fact this book as a Covid theme to it, it is readable and not a downer..DullamScore: 5/5
So BadThis will be the first book I have never finished. There have been other books that I wanted to quit, but I was able to push through! Not this one! Nothing has happened in over a hundred pages! I am Very disappointed because I have loved previous Jodi Picoult books!.Kikik0704Score: 1/5
S L O WThere’s a big twist in this book otherwise it was a snooze fest for me! One review said “Covid heavy”! Ummm ya think!?! Not one of my favorite JP books..Madmich17Score: 2/5
Realistic and provocatively whimsicalAs we are still in the midst of this Covid pandemic, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read about it. But this book describes in great detail how the virus took hold of NYC when no one knew how to deal with it. Then her descriptions of what it’s like actually suffering through a severe case, surviving and going through rehab, every single American needs to read this. It’s not the flu, people are still dying and suffering devastating after effects. Thank you for bringing the reality of the disease and the realization of our Misguided values before the pandemic so vividly portrayed in this story..GypsyflutterbyScore: 5/5
Not Picoult’s bestVery disappointing. Silly storyline and political opinions make this read a bust..BuytheBook2021Score: 2/5
Best book I’ve read in 2021I read it in 48 hours. I never saw that one coming!.SGAinNYCScore: 5/5
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