Title: Wish You Well
Author: David Baldacci
Genre: Fiction/historical novel/crime fiction
Published: June 30th 2001
I had a lot of trouble trying to write a synopsis for this book for great fear that nothing I could say would do its (which brought me to heart clenching tears) the justice it so deserves. I was so worried that I would give too much away, but wanted to bring out just how emotional and beautiful this book was, so as to attract potential readers and share with you all this masterpiece. Baldacci has yet again managed to rip my heart open and sow it back with the beautiful and poetic effects of his words. After reading his novel ‘One Summer’ I truly didn’t believe he could do it again but I could not have been more wrong! I truly tried to come up with something myself but for the life of me I couldn’t do it! And I found this extract off of Goodreads that had already said everything I wanted to say.
The lives of 12-year-old Lou Cardinal and her eight-year-old brother, Oscar (“Oz”), are forever changed when an auto accident takes the life of their writer father and leaves their mother in a catatonic state. Used to the hectic bustle of New York City, they find themselves transplanted to the mountain cabin home of their great-grandmother, Louisa Mae Cardinal. Their new home has no electricity or running water, and their food comes not from any grocery store but from the barn and the land. Their new neighbors are simple folk, many of them poor, uneducated, and worked to the bone. But beneath them all is The Mountain, with its power to mesmerize and nurture their minds and their souls.
Though Lou rebels against her new life at first, she eventually grows to appreciate her hardscrabble existence, rising before dawn to milk the cows, attending school in a one-room schoolhouse, and then working till dusk to prepare, plant, and harvest crops. Her great-grandmother’s simple lifestyle, free spirit, and obvious love of The Mountain becomes contagious. But there is plenty of ugliness here, too, not the least of which is the poverty and prejudicial ignorance subscribed to by some. When a greedy corporate entity enters the picture, Baldacci takes his readers into territory more familiar to the crime writing author, culminating the tale in a highly satisfying and grueling courtroom battle.
Set in the Virginia Mountains coal country in the post-Depression ‘40s this story retains its magical allure throughout the whole book. The mountain itself is as much an entity as any of the other characters in the book, many of which will remain in the reader’s hearts for a long time to come. The values, morals and ways of life of the people are inspiring and denote the true essence of the human spirit and its attachment to the purity of nature. Baldacci shows that no matter what happens in the world, when men will destroy what God has given, those who appreciate and cherish the land they live on will always be rewarded for their respect and nurture of this earth.
A tale depicting the power behind a child’s innocent hopes and dreams and the human willpower when harnessed in all its might, is majesty to read. Baldacci reminds us all that like our beloved unforgettable characters, when the time comes for us to close our eyes for the last time, the allure of those majestic mountains and the endless blue sky overhead will forever remain, as long as there are others here to behold it.