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Wish You Well

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  12,451 ratings  ·  1,562 reviews
As one of the bestselling writers of legal thrillers like Absolute Power , David Baldacci is known for his hair-raising plots and fast-paced suspense. But in a significant departure from his usual fare (though the end result is no less compelling), Baldacci slows things down a bit for his latest saga,Wish You Well, a story he culled from his own family's history and exper ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2000)
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Community Reviews

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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.
Sep 21, 2008 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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.
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
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

“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
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
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
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
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
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.
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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
Nov 19, 2008 Tara rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
Enrique Alvarez
One of the best books I have read. It was a journey that took me to places in my childhood past. l laughed, I had a lump in my throat and I reminisce of my own adventures.
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.
Loved this book. . .;Baldacci at his best and most touching. Very different from his other books.
Great story of triumph over trajedy
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
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
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
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