Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

Wow – So Powerful

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult is a powerful contemporary novel opening in March 2020 and moving forwards as the world dealt with the COVID pandemic.

Jodi Picoult focuses in on a couple, who are a microcosm for the experiences of many. Living in New York City, a doctor finds all of his leave cancelled as he faces the COVID outbreak in the hospital. We witness his life of PPE, hard work, impossible situations and sadness.

In contrast we see his partner, an art expert, trapped in the beauty and tranquility of the Galapagos Islands. But paradise can soon become a prison when you are trapped there with no flights in or out. “When you’re stuck in heaven, it can feel like hell.” We see the kindness and compassion of a local community.

The hospital is in contrast to the islands. Here it is hell on earth as bodies pile up and COVID takes hold. The experiences traumatise both staff and the patients who do recover. Survivors search for answers, trying to make sense of experiences that cannot be explained.

Families are important. Sometimes members are misunderstood as we witness sacrificial love in action.

The characters are well drawn and easy to empathise with.

Jodi Picoult has written an incredibly powerful novel. As with many of her books, I experienced a jaw-dropping moment. I always love Jodi Picoult’s novels. She is one of my (many) favourite authors.

I received a free copy via Net Galley. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.

JULIA WILSON

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