"Wish You Well" could have been a fairly credible story about two young children from New York who, through tragedy, are brought to live on an impoverished farm in Virginia and who encounter the stereotypical Southerners who live in the surrounding area. I am generally a Baldacci fan, but I cannot recommend this book. The narrator, who is actually blessed with good vocal quality, unfortunately reads "Wish You Well" in a flat, tedious monotone throughout the story and saps any energy Baldacci may have written into the script. The death of a main character, potentially humorous incidents the two children encounter during their first days on the farm, and the ending of dramatic court scene are all read in the same, unvaried, lackluster tone. Further, the narrator's egregious rendering of a Southern accent is almost an insult to those of us who have lived in the South. The core of the novel is about the Southern way of life and its people, but the narrator reads the dialogue as if it were a foreign language whose dialect she had never encountered. Baldacci, himself, seems to recognize that "Wish You Well" is not one of his better novels; through the narrator, he spends significant time at the beginning of the story explaining what the novel is about, and he preaches at the end of the narration about the current plight of modern America. Take your children to the park or learn a new hobby; you'll get far more out of it than you will with "Wish You Well".
This book has been listened to for the second time now. The story is exciting , appalling in spots and warms the heart. David Baldacci gives a really solid view of living in the mountains in a time gone by and I am happy it was shared.
The narration was captivating.
The entire book was a well woven tale.
The main character Lou was my favorite, who tells the tale through the eyes of a young girl.
The climactic ending.
This took me back to my childhood and my grandparents farm in Arkansas.
While the setting is different, some of the characters are very similar.
The reading is done well and the writing is very compelling.
A wonderful novel. I wish we had more.
I have loved all of Baldacci's books so far, but this one is at the absolute top of my list. A beautiful story of family and history. Baldacci has an incredible way of pulling us, the reader, into the story and scenes as if we're there experiencing it for ourselves. This is a must read!!!