Alison Looney's Reviews > Wish You Well

Wish You Well by David Baldacci
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's review
Jan 22, 2008

did not like it
Read in January, 2008

** spoiler alert ** Everything about this book is terrible. The writing is sloppy (once you've written 800+ books, do you get a free pass on editing?), the plot is predictable and contrived, the characters are flat, and the theme of belief in the face of despair is bludgeoned in with no finesse.

Spoilers Ahead! (Kind of. This book is so predictable it'd be hard to spoil.)

The whole storyline is weak, but the ending is almost fantastically ridiculous. The previously comatose mother wakes up saves the day in the courtroom - a plot device pulled out of a made-for-TV movie. And I cringed at the "afterward" written by future Lou. She grows up to be a famous, wealthy writer, her brother grows up to win a World Series with the Yankees. Everyone's dreams come true. It's fairytale ending that even Cinderella would have trouble believing. If Baldacci had ever treated his characters/setting/subject matter with irony or even subtlety, I might have wondered if the afterward was playful meta-fiction, to be taken with a grain of salt. But, no, just straightforward drivel.

Quite simply, there are better books out there.

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04/05/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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message 1: by Dan (new)

Dan Oh, I really want to see a review of this one!

message 2: by Dan (new)

Dan Who buys books like this? How does Baldacci succeed? It's crazy!

Brook I, too, was mortified by the ending. The mom entering the courtroom was over the top. I think I tossed the book in disgust.

Richard Wolf but Brook, you could not have been surprised. It was as predictable as the rest of the book.

Kathleen I found this book almost painful to wade through. A dear friend had loaned it to me on CDs, and I felt I had to finish it. How can so many people give this horrid thing four and five stars? Truly one of the worst books I have ever read.

message 6: by Marilyne (new)

Marilyne Are you kidding, where is your himanity.

Kathleen My "humanity" is alive and well. This book, however, sucked.

Clara Chahine Sometimes a good, old fashioned, predictable book is what we need. The lessons are beautiful and the characters are precious. I understand the need to stray from the classic stories and strive towards the new, fresh ones, but it is always so rewarding to come back to the stories that give us hope, even if they are unrealistic. Has the book loving community stopped believing in miracles and magic? Can we no longer learn from and enjoy fiction? Isn't this community about believing in the impossible and having the faith and imagination of a child? I'm ashamed that you people have disgraced this wonderful piece of art in such a way. Since you are too busy being critiques of how "unrealistic" the story is maybe you should go back and read it again to understand the true meaning of the story. Maybe this time you'll learn something.

message 9: by Kathleen (last edited Aug 24, 2014 11:22AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kathleen There are many wonderfully written books that address the same issues as this one addressed. Unfortunately, this one was very poorly written, in my opinion and in the opinion of the original reviewer. Taking us to task for not enjoying this particular book is presumptuous and absurd. And no, I do not agree that "this community is about believing in the impossible and having the faith and imagination of a child." Seriously? This community is about reading and reviewing books, and everyone's opinion is equally valid. If you enjoyed this book, good for you. I did not.

message 10: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Cummings This book is based on his mothers life. Some people are judgemental and self important snobs that cannot place themselves in anyone else's shoes. Get a life, some imagination and some insight. It is a beautiful, sensitive look at life as it was in the South. People and their feelings are the heart of this lovely book.

Kathleen Thanks for straightening us all out, Kim. I have a wonderful life, quite a lot of imagination, and a great deal of insight. But hey, I'm sure you know best. Bless your heart.

Maurita Kling I totally agree with Kathleen on this one! And it could be suspected of plagiarism- Cotton vs Atticus Finch, Lou as Scout, etc Or Laura Ingalls, Or The Walton's!!- all with a total lack of the Quality of writing involved in those examples! Even the Cover is schmaltzy! Obviously written to fulfill a contract only! Boo!

message 13: by Mary (new)

Mary Kearney Maurita evidently you have no idea what Bless Your Heart can mean in the South.

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