Wish You Were Here: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Diana is on a fast track to success.  Hers is a life carefully planned.  Success in selling fabulous art, cozying up to the rich and famous to persuade them of the benefit in using her employer, Sotheby’s, to auction their exquisite pieces. Currently she is completing a deal for a piece that should surely lead to promotion.  Marriage, children, a house in a great neighborhood are part of the plan.  All that is coming along swimmingly too.  Finn, her lover, is a young doctor, doing his surgical residency.  They currently live in a trendy New York apartment, but she is pretty sure Finn plans to propose when they travel to the Galapagos Islands.  She is not quite thirty, but all systems are looking good.

You know what they say about “best laid plans”?  A pandemic is about to hit, just in time to derail the romantic vacation.  Finn can’t go, all leave has been cancelled as the hospital braces for what is coming.  He suggests Diana go ahead, they have already paid for the trip, it is non-refundable, it sounds like he will be working round the clock, and besides, it will probably be safer on an island in the Galapagos.  She arrives on the last boat in, the hotel is shuttered, cell reception is non-existent and Diana is stuck.  As the island works it’s magic, she starts to break down to more elemental needs and pleasures.  Swimming with sea creatures, long walks in pristine nature make her start to question her priorities.  Is the “plan” really right for her?  How do you measure success? 

Meanwhile the virus fells victims.  I wish everyone choosing to remain unvaccinated would read this book!  It details struggles that do not resemble an easy flu, they show an illness that is debilitating, heartbreaking, and probably avoidable with vaccine.  The scenes bring the tragedy into focus. 

— Deon Stonehouse

December 2021 Indie Next List

“Jodi Picoult continues to amaze us with her masterful storytelling. This time she tackles the difficult subject of Covid with a touching and emotional story. There is a beauty of the human spirit that comes through loud and clear.”
— Kathy Morrison, Newtown Bookshop, Newtown, PA


#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.

About the Author

Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-seven novels, including 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 lives in New Hampshire.

Praise For…

“Stealthily surprising and very moving . . . absolutely a must-read.”Booklist (starred review)
“A satisfying and thought-provoking narrative.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Jodi Picoult once again proves she is the master of wading through the darkness to find the light.”—Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Malibu Rising

Wish You Were Here is a transporting and transcendent novel about seeking out glimmers of light in the darkness, and following them wherever they lead. Jodi Picoult is that rare, one-in-a-million writer whose books both squeeze your heart and expand your mind. Her latest is wise, surprising, and utterly extraordinary.”⁠—Emily Henry, #1 New York Times bestselling author of People We Meet on Vacation and Beach Read

“In Wish You Were Here, Jodi Picoult does something brilliant, cracking open something extraordinary. I am just overwhelmed by this book. I actually finished it at three in the morning and started reading it again.”⁠—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of With or Without You
Product Details
ISBN: 9781984818416
ISBN-10: 1984818414
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: November 30th, 2021
Pages: 336
Language: English