My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 2 days
Pages - 319
Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton
Source - Netgalley
Blurb from Amazon
Contains an exclusive short story from Jodi Picoult featuring the main character, Diana, available in the first print run only. Pre-order now to guarantee your copy!
Diana O'Toole's life is going perfectly to plan. At twenty-nine, she's up for promotion to her dream job as an art specialist at Sotheby's and she's about to fly to the Galápagos where she's convinced her surgeon boyfriend, Finn, is going to propose.
But then the virus hits New York City and Finn breaks the news: the hospital needs him, he has to stay. But you should still go, he insists. And reluctantly, she agrees.
Once she's in the Galápagos, the world shuts down around her, leaving Diana stranded - albeit in paradise. Completely isolated, with only intermittent news from the outside world, Diana finds herself examining everything that has brought her to this point and wondering if there's a better way to live.
But not everything is as it seems . . .
Covid has well and truly hit, Diana O'Toole and her doctor boyfriend and meant to be going on holiday. The hospitals are struggling and Finn encourages Diana to go the non refundable trip of a lifetime alone. Paradise has no signal, Diana ends up stranded in a place she doesn't speak the language with only a troubled teen, her angry dad and helpful gran to get through the days. We hear from Finn back home in broken correspondence from the bits of emails/messages that manages to make it across the seas.
So I know this book won't be for everyone because a lot of people don't want to read about covid. Whilst covid does feature in the book in isn't the whole focus or even the main meat of it. Diana goes on a bit of a person journey, self discovery and growth being stranded, very limited communication from back home. I loved the island she goes to, Picoult paints such a vivid picture you could see the places, smells, animals, just serene!
Then we have the aspects of covid, poor Finn, caught in the midst of it, unable to properly talk to Diana, offload, decompress - the things we do with partners during extreme stress. I think if you aren't in healthcare or haven't been affected by covid this is a fantastic book to let you see the devastation, emotional impact that covid can have, on healthcare, on a person, on relationships, there isn't really anything it doesn't impact upon.
Sometimes Picoult can knock the stuffing out of you in some of what she writes or how she constructs parts of her story. I actually uttered the words out loud "No Waaaaaay" during one part and that my friends is a teaser not a spoiler! I really liked this book, I think she wrote a really hard subject and humanised it by creating the characters the way she did. 4/5 for me this time, I do enjoy Picoult's books and have at least one or two more to catch up on so I have read them all. I need to bump them up the tbrm, this reminded me how much I like her writing!
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