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  • Writer's pictureNeighborhood Reads

Cheryl's Pick: "Wish You Were Here" by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult decided to write this book during COVID. She had been at a wedding where two people at her table contracted the virus. She did not. Several weeks into the pandemic, she read about a Japanese man who got stranded in Machu Pichu. She suddenly knew how to write about it.

Diana and Finn are married and going on a vacation to the Galapagos. She’s an art dealer working on

a high profile sale and Finn is a resident in surgery in New York. Suddenly COVID changes everything. Finn can’t leave but wants Diana to go without him. She makes the very difficult decision to do just that and gets quarantined. She now has to deal with the guilt of not being there for Finn as he deals with patients that are sick and dying. She also finds out that her mother has contracted COVID in the nursing home she’s a resident in back home. How in the world can she deal with that?

But she finds that people are willing to help a complete stranger. She realizes that she can also help a young girl in need of some kindness and understanding as she struggles with teenage emotions amidst the pandemic.

It’s a book about heartache, kindness, joy, understanding, extreme sadness and all the emotions that we’ve all most likely felt in the last year and a half. And how we’ve changed. Are we still the person we were before, or has COVID changed us?

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