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Wish You Well

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3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  15,991 Ratings  ·  1,892 Reviews
David Baldacci has made a name for himself crafting big, burly legal thrillers with larger-than-life plots. However, Wish You Well, set in his native Virginia, is a tale of hope and wonder and "something of a miracle" just itching to happen. This shift from contentious urbanites to homespun hill families may come as a surprise to some of Baldacci's fans--but they can rest
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Paperback, 432 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by Grand Central Publishing (first published October 24th 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Chris
Jan 04, 2009 Chris rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 22, 2008 Alison Looney rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer
Sep 21, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it
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
Maureen
Nov 09, 2008 Maureen rated it really liked it
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
Shobhit Sharad
May 05, 2016 Shobhit Sharad rated it it was amazing
Shelves: david-baldacci
There are a lot of books which make you feel things- sometimes happy, sad the other times, and much more. Then there are some books which grab you by the scruff, shake all emotions out of you and refill you with a new experience of things which you never felt before.

This is one of those books for me.

I won't dare to say this book is perfect. This is a story of a struggle, of how humanity works, of how you should live, of how you can improve, and I can go on listing things which the book very subt
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Christine
Jun 21, 2008 Christine rated it really liked it
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.
Jessica
Nov 09, 2008 Jessica rated it really liked it
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
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Ashley
Mar 02, 2009 Ashley added it
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
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Dan
Apr 10, 2016 Dan rated it it was ok
Shelves: general-fiction
TLDR: David Baldacci read "To Kill A Mockingbird" and thought he could write the same book just as well. He was wrong.


“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
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Tina
Sep 17, 2013 Tina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-kindle-books
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
Barbara Seda
Jul 06, 2014 Barbara Seda rated it did not like it
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
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Sammy
Jun 24, 2007 Sammy rated it really liked it
Shelves: b-the-good
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
Kellie
Dec 05, 2014 Kellie rated it it was amazing
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
Camilla
Oct 13, 2015 Camilla rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Halfway through I thought I would have to put the book down forever (forever ever? yes. forever ever) because it felt like the book was taking a godly turn a.k.a a Milla-will-put-down-the-book-forever-ever turn, because I really don’t want to read about how God saves everything, because, yeah, I don’t do sci-fi, okaay? Anyhow…

The book is about a sister and brother who lose their parents in a car-wreck, and gets sent to live with their great-grandmother on a mountain.. Well, they lose their fathe
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Tara
Nov 19, 2008 Tara rated it it was amazing
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
Shannen
Feb 23, 2009 Shannen rated it really liked it
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
Jaime
Jul 10, 2016 Jaime rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Asghar Abbas
Dec 27, 2015 Asghar Abbas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A departure
and what a departure it was
a book about books, love of writing,
and family
facing everything as one
and standing together
Scottsdale Public Library
I just finished re-reading "Wish You Well" by David Baldacci. It is even better than the first time I read it last year. In fact, this is one of the best books I have ever read. It is a story of Louisa (Lou) May Cardinal who lives in NYC with her brother Oz, and her parents. Her father is a writer, but he doesn't make much money from his books. He wants to go to California. There is an auto accident, and Lou’s father is killed, and her mother is in a coma. The family is sent to the mountains of ...more
Cindy
Dec 01, 2015 Cindy rated it really liked it
Lovely, homespun and poignant tale of mountain folk and simpler times and ways. (Probably the kind that would survive and prosper in dystopian times). Well narrated (some done by the author). This isn't like authors usual story. Thoroughly enjoyable for any age and most genre-lovers. Highly recommended.
Majo's Library.
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.
Karen
Jul 03, 2013 Karen rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dawn Michelle
Aug 30, 2007 Dawn Michelle rated it it was amazing
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)
Jul 24, 2009 Mom (Tash) rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 22, 2013 Eizzah Azman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-read
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
May 28, 2008 Pamela rated it really liked it
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
Michael Dipietro
Feb 24, 2010 Michael Dipietro rated it did not like it
Alright, I'm not going to be eloquent about it, but I HAVE to add my two cents because there are just too many glowing reviews of this book. It is so so sooooo cliche, every plot device comes straight out of made-for-TV movies, which several reviewers have commented. Makes me think of Umberto Eco's essay on Casablanca, "The Cliches are Having a Ball," because the whole thing is a mishmash of courtroom drama and wistful 'long-lost simple life' tropes. The ending is ridiculous. I think I have an e ...more
Sheila
Jun 24, 2013 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since I did not know the subject of this little side story to the thriller line, I was surprised at what a wonderful story it turned out to be. It's historical, in the 1930's coal/gas mountains of Virginia and about much tragedy and also heartwarming doings involving an elderly grandmother taking in a comatose mother and 2 children after a New York accident killed the husband/father. It's quite the tale for those of us liking an occasional change from the thrills and chills of our mysteries. I d ...more
Annet
Oct 25, 2014 Annet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Gerald Curtis
Oct 23, 2012 Gerald Curtis rated it really liked it
This was an interesting change from the typical legal/courtroom battles of Baldacci. While it does have an interesting courtroom battle between at the end, the main emphasis is pure human drama and character development of two young people whose parents are suddenly gone, with lots of fascinating characters in their new mountain top community – some of which are supportive, and many which are prejudiced and antagonistic to the young newcomers.
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What's The Name o...: 1950s coal mining era story [s] 3 29 Dec 22, 2013 05:12AM  
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David Baldacci writes because he can't imagine not writing. He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; one year later, it was adapted for film, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 30 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into ...more
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“Most folks here got rules 'bout trespassing. Warning shot's fired right close to the head. Get they's attention. Next shot gets a lot more personal. Now I'm too old to waste time firing a warning shot.....” 10 likes
“As my father wrote, one's courage, hope, and spirit can be severely tried by the happenstance of life. But as I learned on this Virginia mountain, so long as one never loses faith, it is impossible to ever truly be alone.” 8 likes
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