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Wish You Well

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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  11,877 ratings  ·  1,514 reviews
It is 1940 and a tragedy sends two young children, Lou and Oz, along with their invalid mother, from New York City to the rugged mountains of Southwestern Virginia to live with their great-grandmother. The portraits of the land and its people are described with an extraordinary eye for detail as the story flows through swells of prejudice, innocence, greed, and faith, and ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 24th 2000 by Grand Central Publishing
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Chris
I am not a Baldacci fan...never read another of his books. But this is not characteristic of his legal thrillers. This is a beautiful story about 2 children learning what is really important in life...and it's NOT money. I've heard that in many places this is becoming required reading at the junior high/high school, level and it should be. It would be most impactful for this age. I loved it and will remember it long after I forget many of the other books I have read. I wish everyone would read t ...more
Alison Looney
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maureen
This was a complete departure for Baldacci and I really enjoyed it. He showed a completely different side of him and his writing skill were shine. I cried, and learned about the hardships of people living in the nountains of Virginia just before WWII, with no power and hard life farming. ENJOY
Jennifer
Sep 21, 2008 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer by: Tricia
I laughed and I cried (mostly cried)...I would not typically read this type of book, but this story of hope and triumph of the human spirit had me hooked to the very end. It was well written; the characters were deep and engaging and the setting well beautifully described.

This is the story of Louisa May (Lou) Cardinal; a precocious 12 year old from New York. Her father is a famous (albeit underpaid) writer and she has a caring mother and a younger brother named Oz. When the whole family is in a
...more
Christine
Really a touching story and a stark departure from his normal books. This tells of life in the mountains of Virginia and appreciation for the "simple" life.
Ashley
Wish You Well.
This is a book that made me cry, and pulled at my heart, but at the same time made me smile and really appreciate what I have before I loose it. The emotion in this book was powerfully written and motivating. It’s about an everyday family, everyday people who loose everything, but slowly learn to live in their new world and cope to the emotional turmoil that has happened upon, a young brother and sister.
I’m glad that I was encouraged to read this book, with this book’s setting bei
...more
Jessica
I've never read any other David Baldacci books, so I can't comment on how this is a departure from those plots, even though it's very obvious that it is.
The story itself is well-written, with two main children characters who are forced to grow up and learn to rely on each other after they are faced with tragedy. They move from the city to a rural town in Virginia, where they first meet their Great-Grandmother, the woman responsible for raising their father.
The story follows the two children, Lou
...more
Dan

“You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons.” –Gene Wilder, Blazing Saddles

Apropos of nothing, I’ve been thinking of Italian Western epics a lot lately, so I thought I’d do this review with a Sergio Leone flavor.

The Good: In truth, I enjoyed Wish You Well more than I thought I would. David Baldacci is not the sort of author I usually read, but my mother, who enjoys light and trashy paperback fictio
...more
Kellie
Wonderful book about a girl and her brother who get sent to her grandmothers in the Virginia Mountains after her father is killed in a car wreck and her mother goes into a catatonic state. Very different from what Baldacci usually writes but very enjoyable. It is 1940 and the accidental death of their father sends two children, Lou and her younger brother Oz, along with their invalid mother, from New York City to the rugged mountains of southwestern Virginia to live with their great-grandmother, ...more
Sammy
Not going to lie, I didn't really have high expectations for this book. Perhaps if I didn't it wouldn't have been as good as I thought it was. You know how that happens? You set yourself up for something really great and then end up being disappointed when it's not as good as you thought it was going to be? Well, whatever, with Wish You Well I was not disappointed.

The only problem with the book was that it was a little clichéd at times, not a big deal, but a little annoying. Most common cliché w
...more
Jaime
This was a sweet story about a couple of kids that are given more hard knocks than they deserve. I normally don’t like it when authors switch genres (see: James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell), but this was wonderful writing from Baldacci. The ending is a little sugary-sweet-fairy-tale-ish, but it’s forgivable.

I felt a little bit of an extra connection to this story because it is set where I live. I’m not quite in coal country, but I’m on the cusp of it. People around here hold on to their way of
...more
María
Baldacci, who wrote "The Camel Club" saga (the legal thriller) among other things, has a very interesting voice. I enjoyed this book and thought the characters were well-developed. The plot line was interesting, with lots and lots of emotional and physical baggage.
Tina
I am going to make this one short and sweet. I have never read anything by David Baldacci before as the only books I saw by him seemed to be legal-type books which I don't read much of. But after seeing Wish You Well on the shelf at the local library, it sounded like a book I could not pass up.

Because I really didn't know what I was in for, the first chapter or so didn't have me convinced, but once I got to about the third chapter I was totally captivated!! This was such a beautiful story! I c
...more
Karen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Barbara-seda Aghamianz
This is really a hard review for me to write mostly because those I know who have read it liked it and most of the reviews I have read loved it. I just don't understand WHY! I feel like I did not read the same book.

First, I think that it did not help that I read this book at the same time we were reading To Kill A Mockingbird. I do feel like this was a poor homage to To Kill A Mockingbird on some level -- two precocious kids, court room drama, evil protagonist. Sadly, David Baldacci is no Harper
...more
Tara
Nov 19, 2008 Tara rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my UTA book club girls
This is a heart felt story about people, about family. Lou and her younger brother Oz find themselves alone as their father has passed away and their mother has entered a catatonic state. They head up the hills in Virginia to live on the mountain with their great grandmother Louisa, whom they have never met, but heard frequently about from their father's stories. Their experience there is filled with trials, opposition, danger, learning, growth, understanding, friendship, love, and faith. I grew ...more
Dawn Michelle
Aug 30, 2007 Dawn Michelle rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ANYONE
This was a really good book! Not your typical David Baldacci book that is for sure.

"The year is 1940. After a car accident kills 12-year-old Lou's and 7-year-old Oz's father and leaves their mother Amanda in a catatonic trance, the children find themselves sent from New York City to their great-grandmother Louisa's farm in Virginia. Louisa's hardscrabble existence comes as a profound shock to precocious Lou and her shy brother. Still struggling to absorb their abandonment, they enter gamely into
...more
Mom (Tash)
What a surprise! David Baldacci has written a novel without a "killer-thriller" suspense story line! Though I have liked most of his other books I've read, Wish You Well was really a refreshing change. Baldacci stated, "Ironically, as a writer, I've spent the last twenty years or so hunting relentlessly for story material, and utterly failed to see a lumberyard within my own family (he is a native Virginian)...writing this novel was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life." It is about ...more
Eizzah Azman
I'm 14 and i love this book..it is very interesting and sad at the same time. At first i though it was boring then i read it and it's very good.

A girl name Louisa Mae Cardinal (lou) and her brother Oscar Cardinal (oz) are on a car ride with their parents and suddenly they had a car accident. her father die and her mother is in a coma. They moved to their great grandmother house at Mountain Virginia with her mother. they had to fit themself into the current condition and Lou find it very difficul
...more
Pamela
Every summer the town I live in does a "one book--one community" thing where everyone that chooses to reads the same book and then has the option to go to discussion groups, etc., to talk about and often, to meet the author. David Baldacci is from VA and came to meet us! It was great--he is one of my favorite authors. The story is filled with imagery of the southwestern corner of Virginia--a very special and unique place. It also made me tired just reading sometimes...the hard work that was nece ...more
Shannen
Reviewing books is not my forte, so all I will say is that I enjoyed this one more than I had thought I would at first. The first couple of chapters I was, through tears of heartache, wondering what I had just gotten myself into. So, in order to calm my troubled heart, I read the end first. At least enough to enable me to keep reading. And I'm glad I did (keep reading and read the end first). It was a touching tale. It read very easily and was captivating - I stayed up until after 2am reading it ...more
Annet
This is not your usual Baldacci, legal and crime writer. It's a story about two kids, 12-year old Lou and 7-year old Oz, who loose their father in a car accident in New York area, leaving their mother in a coma.
They move to their great-grandmother Louisa to live with at her Virginia Mountain farm. Quite another life, to get used to, and on top of that Louisa's farm is threatened by gas companies who try to take over her land.
Entertaining, easy to read, good feel of the times, culture and the mou
...more
Annanya Pandey
Tragedy strikes the Cardinal family when they are in a car and they meet with an accident whose outcome is the death of the father and leaves the mother in coma. People who survived were Lou and Oz cardinal children of the late Jack cardinal and Amanda Cardinal. they now have to leave their comfortable city life and live with their great- grandmother Louisa Mae Cardinal in a small village which doesn't have a television or a telephone. When they make a new friend God snatches him away from them. ...more
Doris Pearson
this was an absolutely wonderful book loaned to me by a friend.. totally loved this story of a brother and sister and how they overcome tragedy. reread this one, something I seldom do.. Such a good book.
Donna
Loved this book. . .;Baldacci at his best and most touching. Very different from his other books.
Chelsea
Great story of triumph over trajedy
Ruth
Oct 17, 2012 Ruth rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: a good casual reaad
Recommended to Ruth by: Book club
This is not my usual reading material but I really enjoyed this book. The author drew some very believable characters and despite all the tragedy it was a treat. Two childrens's lives were irreparably harmed by a tragic accident in which their beloved father was killed and their mother left comatose. "Watching" the children grow up--not normally but forced by tragedy to enter a different very sad world but hope was created when their Father's Mother allowed them to come and live with her. Lou,th ...more
Lady Bren
I am a huge fan of David Baldacci and this book furthered along my love affair. There are very few authors that have the ability to not only write in more than one genre but to do it exceedingly well.
From his website: while it came later than it probably should have, writing WISH YOU WELL was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Life in the mountains of Virginia was not easy. Being dropped there after their father dies along with their comatose mother they realize how having lived
...more
Ruth
Louisa Mae Cardinal and her younger brother Oscar live in NYC with their mom and dad. Dad is an award winning author whose books tell of life in the mountains of VA where he grew up. After a day car trip to a park outside the city the family returns home when an event occurs that changes the lives of all four of them. They are forced to move to the very mountains where their dad grew up and Louisa (Lou) has only heard about from her dad's books which were read to her as she was growing up.

Lou a
...more
Kavyen
The story setting moves from New York to the mountains in Virginia when Lou’s dad and award-winning writer dies in a car accident. It describes the life of Lou and her brother Oz after being thrust to be cared by their great-grandmother in the mountains far away from civilization. The story has excellent promise and has all the emotional elements of friendship, trust, sadness, loss, truth, love and victory in the right proportions. The clear descriptions of the people, events and locations made ...more
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David Baldacci published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996. A major motion picture adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 28 novels, all of which have been national and international bestsellers; several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into more than 45 languages and sold in more than 80 cou ...more
More about David Baldacci...
Absolute Power The Camel Club (Camel Club, #1) Split Second (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell, #1) The Innocent (Will Robie,#1) Last Man Standing

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