Over the many years that I have read Ms Picoults` books, there have of course, been some I’ve liked, some I haven’t , some I’ve been indifferent to and some that age just too damn good for words. Wish you were here falls into the final category. It is an impressive manuscript, made even more exceptional, by the subject matter that she has tackled.
Our main characters, Dianna and Finn are a couple. Finn is a surgical resident in a NY hospital and Dianna works as an art specialist at Sotheby’s. When covid enters the world stage, little do our couple realise how it may inhabit and disrupt their lives. A planned holiday about to start is disrupted as all Drs are ordered to remain at work. Dianna and Finn discuss whether they cancel it or whether she still goes. Whether she gets out of NY and stays away from what is speculated to be the pandemic epicentre. No more plot. No spoilers.
As we sit here, 2 years into the pandemic, it must be acknowledged that it was a brave book to write. You could always say a risky book to write. As a widow from 2019, an ex-registered nurse myself, and someone who nursed my mum through to her passing in 2021, Ms Picoult, boy did you get this book right. Thank you so much for taking your time with your research.
My husband was in icu several times during the last years of his life and your writing of ICU a patients and effects from their stay….he suffered those too. I could relate to that. As a registered nurse, I can say that your writing of how nurses work from day to day is beautifully done. I noted the subtle humour that came in through some nurses comments. Again highly relatable. I was that nurse, but am not anymore. Your care in writing about dementia was beautifully done, allowing for the disease to be demonstrated through the exquisiteness of the person underneath.
This book was going to be controversial for some people and I think that is perceived in the Goodreads reviews.
- Some find it “hard to read”.
- Some who have lost someone to C-19 may find it a hard read.
- Others have said it is “too heavy, not a light read”.
- Others have said that there is not enough drama.
From my point of view, I’m a writer and a reader….
- This was fact with a fiction story overlay. Those in the world who have trouble seeing how covid can play out, would benefit from reading this book. It describes everything the world has experienced, but shares it through the eyes of a 29 year old fictional woman.
- This book is a life changer book. Anyone that reads it, should sit up and take stock and realise how short life is. Put the phone/tablet down and look at what’s around you.
- Readers should take stock of life and “be happy with what you have”. There is a saying “the secret to having it all, is knowing you already do”
The underlying message for me in this book…..realise who you are. Sometimes the person or event that is in front of you, that you think is the right thing for you…..may not be.