Netflix bought the movie adaptation rights to Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult. I chose to listen to the audiobook narrated by Marin Ireland because we all know the book is better. Relevant, poignant and deeply moving story that takes place during the pandemic. Grab a cup of coffee and check out my thoughts.
Narration: 5 cups Speed: 1.4x
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes a deeply moving novel about the resilience of the human spirit in a moment of crisis.
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 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. 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.
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.
I am not at all sure I could have read let alone listened to a story involving Covid-19 during 2020 and even though we are still dealing with variants I was ready and who better than Jodi Picoult.
The story takes place in the early stages of the outbreak in New York City where we meet Diana O’Toole, an up incomer in the Arts world. She is on the fast-track, hopes to be engaged to Finn, a surgical resident and her live-in boyfriend. In fact, the two will spend a romantic getaway on the Galápagos Islands.
A new virus is turning the hospital into a madhouse and Finn can’t get away, but he encourages Diana to go, anyway. At first she is reluctant to do so, but eventually caves and takes the trip. Only she finds herself trapped there when the world shuts down.
The tale that unfolds was beautiful, thought provoking and full of twists I never saw coming. Cut off from the world without luggage, Wi-Fi or even housing, Diana’s getaway begins as a nightmare and slowly develops into something more. She reevaluates her life plans, her successes, and discovers something more.
Despite all that is happening to Diana, the horrors of Covid and the trauma Finn is facing seem light years away until she is whisked into the heart of it. From her mother to others’ reactions and responses, the story held me riveted. While this story revolves around Covid, it is so much more than that and will be relevant fifty years from now.
I connected with Diana, her feelings and the people she friended on the island. You’ll nod your head as characters re-evaluate their priorities and life goals. It’s a journey of self-discovery and one all of us will connect with at some level.
The story held surprises, was well paced and held me captive without getting into the messy political sides of Covid. Picoult focused on the overall impact and changes we faced individually during this period. I laughed, cried, gasped and rooted for each of the characters. Picoult gave voice to the emotions I felt during the pandemic, making the story a poignant reminder of what I hold dear.
Marin Ireland is a narrator I enjoy listening to. She brings depth and emotion to the characters and her narration only enhances the author’s work. The story translated perfectly to audio and I am sure the movie will be a chart breaker.
Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult delivered.a story that shares the emotions we went through during the darkest time of the pandemic. A captivating and deeply moving story of one woman’s journey. #audiobook #review Click To Tweet
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges: