Saturday, July 26, 2008

Wish You Well by David Baldacci


Wish You Well takes us to the mountains of Virginia, just as World War II is beginning. Twelve year old Louisa (Lou) and her little brother Oz have moved, with their ill mother, to their great grandmother's home after a tragic accident made staying in New York City impossible. Their new home in the mountains could hardly be more different than the life they've always known. With no electricity or running water and a full day's worth of chores to keep the farm running, living with Great Grandma Louisa is a lesson in patience and hard work.

As Lou sorts through her pain , she makes friends, endures even more loss and slowly begins to see that life on the mountain is even more complicated than she initially thought. Economic hardships, stemming from the waning coal mines, creates friction among the rural folks and when big business comes in to solve the problem, Lou's family ends up in a courtroom battle to determine the best use of their gorgeous stretch of land.

This book is a good story. I cared for Baldacci's characters and at times his writing was tender and poignant. The courtroom scenes were intriguing and well written. Was it deeply thought provoking or exciting? Not particularly. I can't say I was always anxious to pick it up - the plot moves along slowly, a bit like the old car that takes Lou up the mountain. But, like a rambling car trip, I enjoyed the ride for the view.

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